The baby boomer generation combined with smaller families and the lower birth rate has a lot of people aware of the “graying of America.” I saw a stat whizz past me yesterday on Twitter that pointed out that a majority of America’s farmers and ranchers are among the AARP target audience. And that we need to find more young farmers. Well, that’s the opportunity ahead of me this weekend as I get to attend part of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Conference!
This will be my first time at the conference so I’m not sure what all to expect. I do know that several farmers I’ve met through Twitter & Facebook will be there. In fact, while I was blogging the Farm Bureau’s annual meeting, YF&R chairman and Michigan fruit farmer Ben LaCross took a minute to tell me a little bit about the group he represents.
There are lots of farmers in this group who are active on social media who I’m looking forward to seeing and some to meet for the first time!
- In January, I finally met Dana and Wilson Judice who grow sugarcase in South Louisana. Their blog Hey Hungry People talks about the crops they produce like sugar cane and soybeans as well as some of the things their family enjoys doing. They are both on Twitter too at @HeyHungryPeople and @DanaJudice.
- I’m sure I’ll see Jeff VanderWerff, after all he’s a Michigan native! Jeff’s a fruit and grain farmer who’s produced several videos for his YouTube Channel and now and then posts something to his blog Through the Windshield. His Twitter handle is @agsalesman.
- Friends Zach @zjhunn and Anna Hunnicutt @hunnidue will be there from Nebraska. They grow corn, soybeans and popcorn. Anna blogs on things as varied as teaching toddlers or living the farm life.
- Tennessee cattleman Brian McLerran @DiamondMFarms and his wife Samantha who’s an MD @McLerranMD will be representing my homestate. Sam’s blog pulls together her life in medicine, at home and on the farm with MommyDocFarmer.
- Finally, I hope to make it out to see the family dairy farm of Annie & Jerry Link while I’m in the area. She blogs at Dairy Discovery at SwissLane Farms and the Twitter handle @DairyDiscovery goes with it!