Young farmers and ranchers can strengthen the voice of agriculture
By Darrell and Lindsey Bowers
As Texas Farm Bureau Vice President David Stubblefield gave this year’s Young Farmer & Rancher Committee its charge, we started thinking about its importance and the personal impact that our involvement in Farm Bureau has had on our life.
As we have become more involved and we have a greater understanding of the Young Farmer & Rancher program, we always come back to the same question: “Why is it so hard to get people involved?” And then we think back to when our district committee chair started working on us to get us involved and how long it took us to finally make it a priority.
Our excuse for a year was always the same: “Something else is going on.” The something else was either the farm or our family, both always priority to everything else in life.
After serving on the committee for a year and enjoying the experiences we have had, we understand how Farm Bureau is serving our farm and our family and how we are making our farm and family a priority by participating. We had become so involved in our day-to-day that we hadn’t stepped back to see the big picture and thought not just about the success of our farm, but the success of agriculture and our role in that.
The success of agriculture depends on farmers and ranchers uniting our voices and speaking up to address our ever-changing needs and concerns. To unite our voices, we first have to work as one and this is where Farm Bureau plays a key role; they are providing us opportunities to come together. These opportunities come throughout the year in many different ways and levels of time commitments.
The programs that the Young Farmer & Rancher Committee develop focus on agriculture, but more importantly in building relationships with others who share the same passion for agriculture. We can tell you all about the places we have been, the tours we have taken, the speakers we have heard, but we can’t begin to explain the value of the friendships we have developed because of our decision to become involved.
The rewards that are present for going beyond the step of just being informed are invaluable, and we hope by sharing that we may have encouraged someone to take that next step. Please feel free to contact us, or the Young Farmer & Rancher Committee chair in your district, to learn more about the opportunities you have to strengthen the voice of agriculture.
And a final thought. In case you don’t know, here is the Young Farmer & Rancher Committee purpose:
“To recommend, promote, and evaluate programs and activities that will encourage young people to become involved in Texas Farm Bureau on a local and state basis. The committee is also responsible for identifying, evaluating and promoting programs and services that will assist young farmers and ranchers in Texas with the operation and management of their farming and ranching business.”