Spring is a time of renewal. Nothing is a better reminder than the start of planting season. Farmers will put seeds in the ground with the hope they flourish and provide us with a plentiful harvest in the fall. We’ll work to foster growth along the way, whether it’s making sure those plants have access to needed nutrients or keeping away the pests that would hinder progress.
Similarly, the future of Nebraska agriculture and Nebraska Farm Bureau also lies in the seeds we plant today, namely the youth, who will someday come home to fill our places in running our farms and ranches and leading our organization. That’s why the Nebraska Farm Bureau continues to put such great emphasis in creating leadership opportunities for future generations. We are planting the seeds. It’s the reason Farm Bureau created a student membership. It’s the reason we continue to reach out and engage with youth involved in Nebraska 4-H and Nebraska FFA. And it’s the reason we continue to invest in our young farmer and rancher programs.
Just a few short weeks ago, Nebraska Farm Bureau was able to play a major role in the largest state FFA Convention in the history of Nebraska FFA. We hosted the annual delegate breakfast that brings FFA delegates and Nebraska state senators together to learn more about Farm Bureau and our grassroots policy process. We helped provide education opportunities for students by conducting media training so they can be future spokespeople for agriculture. We recognized successes through our Foundation for Agriculture by announcing our FFA Advisor of the Year Award winner. And we demonstrated our commitment to growing opportunities in agriculture education by highlighting the Foundation’s Ag Teacher Scholarship and Loan Program that exists to make sure we have enough agriculture teachers to fill the growing demand for agriculture education and FFA programs in schools across our state.
We also showed students that being a part of Farm Bureau can be fun. That came in the form of Farm Bureau renting the “Cube”, a popular commons area near the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, where we filled convention down time with fun activities, like trivia, games and live music.
To say Farm Bureau’s efforts at the FFA convention were successful would be an understatement. We added 41 new student members and exposed thousands of others to Farm Bureau, some for the very first time.
As Nebraska Farm Bureau works to plant the seeds for future leaders, the question I’d pose is this. Are we as county leaders are ready to harvest the seeds Nebraska Farm Bureau has sown? Are we ready to welcome these students as they come back to our communities? Are we willing to make room for them to lead our local organizations? Make no mistake, these students will lead. It’s up to us to make sure we provide opportunities for them do so within Farm Bureau. It’s important we think about these things today, because tomorrow’s harvest will be here faster than we think.
Last, but certainly not least, I want to take this opportunity to specifically thank the staff of the Nebraska Farm Bureau. The men and women who work for Nebraska Farm Bureau are second to none. They’re committed and they’re passionate. The work they do on our behalf is exceptional and is reflected in the success of events like the Nebraska FFA Convention. I thank them all for their teamwork and collaboration; without it, the Nebraska Farm Bureau wouldn’t be the outstanding organization that it is.
Until next month,
Steve Nelson, President, Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation