Smith: Farm Bureau gives everyone involved in agriculture a voice, including those ages 18-35. Through its Young Farmers and Ranchers Program, the organization equips young agriculturalists to be leaders in their communities by providing them with the tools they need to connect with consumers as well as a direct link to the halls of Congress. Annaliese Phippen, Colorado Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee chairwoman, shares her experience.
Phippen: The Young Farmer and Rancher Program through the Colorado Farm Bureau, has provided me with some excellent scholarships and then some connection opportunities, both for my career and then long-term goals, and it’s been just really awesome to connect with the agriculturalists in my community and I’m really grateful for that opportunity.
Smith: While her family's been involved in Farm Bureau for a number of years, Phippen says she got her start with the organization through her county’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee.
Phippen: I saw tremendous value in Farm Bureau through the Young Farmer and Rancher Program to help me launch my career and my scholastic goals and I’ve been so excited to get to have a personal connection with so many of my legislators. There’s not a lot of places where you can do that.
Smith: The YF&R Committee equips young people involved in agriculture to advocate for the industry and discuss the issues they face. Phippen says Colorado Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee works in collaboration with county and state Farm Bureau boards on important agricultural issues.
Phippen: All across the state, we deal with different issues and that’s been awesome to talk with folks my age in different corners of the state, and just be able to talk with our legislators, and our staff at Farm Bureau about what we’re dealing with and what we want to see going forward from our viewpoint as 18- to 35-year olds.
Smith: Chad Smith, Washington.