Written by Keni Reese, Manager of Communications, MSGA
The agriculture industry, and especially those in the cattle industry, hear a lot of doom and gloom when it comes to the future. As a young person in this industry, hearing this can be extremely disheartening and confusing. And when planning our future, many questions run through our heads. Will I have a future here? How drastically will the industry change to keep up with the ever-changing markets? Can I be successful? Can (or should) I build a life in this industry?
But, with all that said, I do have a great deal of hope for the future of our industry. Early in October, I had the opportunity to attend the Young Ag Leadership Conference in Butte, MT. It was three days full of workshops, keynote speakers, and industry tours. Young people, ages 18 to 40 years old, gathered to discuss ideas, learn from speakers and each other, and get inspired to one day lead this industry.
The turn-out was great as many workshops, such as the Using Livestock & Tech as Tools for Pasture Improvement workshop, were standing room only. Other workshops included Family and Legacies: Challenging Decisions, Beyond Farm Loans, The Online Handshake, Leadership Lessons from the Fence Line, and an Ag Policy Update.
It’s refreshing to see so many young producers going out of their way to get additional education in production practices, communication strategies, and leadership skills that will one day benefit the industry we all love so much.
Next year, I will have the opportunity to sit on the planning committee with some amazing young people, and I am ecstatic to help prepare the future leaders of our industry.
The Young Ag Leadership Conference is working hard to educate future leaders. While we may not have the reins yet, we’ll be prepared when the time comes.
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