By: Kelsea Forward
American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Committee Chair Alisha Schwertner and her family grow cotton, corn, grain, sorghum, wheat, hay and cattle in Texas. She recently sat down with American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall to chat about her time serving as committee chair and the future of agriculture.
Schwertner encourages all young farmers and ranchers to get involved in advocating for agriculture.
“Someone has to do it, and if we don’t, there’s not going to be anything left for our kids,” she said. “That’s my why.”
President Duvall shared about his own experience serving as national YF&R chair in 1987. He explained that one reason he encourages folks to get involved is because more people should be represented in leadership and decision making.
“The only way we can represent everyone is for all kinds of people to be at the table when we’re writing our policy,” he said. “If they aren’t there, we can’t be everything that we can be.”
A highlight for Schwertner during her time as YF&R chair has been networking with farmers throughout the country and around the world. She has had the opportunity to connect with farmers in other countries such as Australia, Japan and Canada, to name a few.
“It’s been interesting to learn about the diversity in agriculture, but also to learn that we are all one voice,” said Schwertner.
Schwertner wears many hats. She balances her responsibilities as a mom, wife and farmer all while working a full-time job and traveling the country as YF&R committee chair. She shared that her secret to doing it all is that she doesn’t do it alone. She relies on her family, friends, teammates and coworkers to support her in her work.
“Make sure you have a team that is supportive of what you’re doing and the passions that you have,” she said.
Schwertner is grateful to be able to follow her passion for agriculture and be a leader preparing for the next generation of farmers and ranchers.
The objective of the YF&R program is to surface, grow and develop young Farm Bureau members and provide them opportunities and experiences to strengthen their leadership and ensure effective Farm Bureaus. It is a place for farmers and ranchers between the ages of 18-35 to network with each other, develop their personal and professional skills, participate in agriculture issue advocacy and community service.
Learn more here about Young Farmers and Ranchers.
Kelsea Forward is the Communications assistant at AFBF.