I usually share how I first acquired exterior my fencerows as a younger farmer after complaining to my dad about all the issues I used to be going through in the dairy enterprise. He took me to a Farm Bureau assembly the place the members elected me to chair my county Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee. I wasn’t fairly positive what I had gotten into, however that assembly was a pivotal second in my life.
As a member of our YF&R Committee, I used to be immersed in coaching, conferences and networking alternatives throughout the nation. As a younger farmer, I by no means would have imagined that I’d at some point be the president of the American Farm Bureau. And I wouldn’t be if it weren’t for the management growth packages and alternatives at each degree of Farm Bureau. These packages can introduce younger individuals to different Farm Bureau members from round the nation and assist them develop management expertise to make use of in the group and their communities.
Long earlier than I used to be a member of Farm Bureau, and in the many years since that first assembly, our group has continued to take a position in our younger members as a result of they’re the future of farming and ranching. We ought to at all times depart one thing in higher form than we discovered it, and I need to depart this group in a greater place for the future than once I was elected in 2016. Investing in our younger farmers and ranchers is time and sources properly spent, which is why I need to ensure that our YF&R Committees at each degree have all they should be profitable and pursue their targets each on and off the farm.
Around 800 younger farmers and ranchers gathered in Louisville not too long ago for the nationwide Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Conference. There they labored on constructing their management expertise and being higher farmers. But most significantly, they have been constructing relationships with one another. I shared with these younger individuals how we will’t overcome challenges on our personal. We all need assistance at completely different occasions all through our lives. And each profitable particular person has had somebody lifting them up when they’re struggling or encouraging them once they really feel like giving up.
These younger farmers are serving to to raise up their communities, too. Last yr, younger farmers from throughout the nation collected sufficient meals and funds to supply 30.5 million meals to these in want as half of our Harvest for All program. And many county and state committees work in their communities to boost funds for scholarships, help native organizations and step as much as assist group members after disasters. These women and men are shining examples of how Farm Bureau is dedicated to strengthening farmers and ranchers and our rural communities.
I’m proud of the work all our grassroots members are doing throughout the nation. You all are serving to make rural America an excellent higher place to stay and begin a household. And simply as we work collectively to take a position in our communities for a greater future, we will guarantee a shiny future for American agriculture by creating alternatives for the subsequent technology of farmers and ranchers and giving them the instruments they should succeed.