American Farm Bureau conducted a survey recently. The results surprised a lot of people. The poll focused on participants in Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers program. Of those surveyed, 87 percent were more optimistic about agriculture than they were five years ago. That 87 percent was the highest level recorded in the 19 years Farm Bureau has been conducting the survey.
With all due modesty, I can’t say I was surprised. And, no, I don’t have a secret source of information. What I have been fortunate to have is an inside seat to interaction with many young farm and ranch entrepreneurs.
Recently, MFA hosted the latest group of Agriculture Leaders of Tomorrow. That group will put a smile on the face of even the most cynical person. ALOT is not alone in reflecting the quality of today’s young people.
In my position at MFA, I see many of these young individuals in our customer base and in our growing crop of young managers, field staff and home office staff. I can tell you with certainty, in many cases, these young people are already leading.
As with any profession or industry, agriculture in the United States depends on an informed, invigorated young generation ready to take the lead in production.
Youthful exuberance should not be a challenge to those of us who are further advanced in years. Experience and the knowledge collected over the years make many farmers and MFA employees essential in their roles as leaders, advisors and teachers.