The American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers & Ranchers program includes both men and women between the ages of 18-35. The objective of the Young Farmers & Ranchers 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.
The program is focused on personal growth in the following areas:
telling the story of agriculture
The Young Farmers & Ranchers Program allows young agriculturalists the opportunity to see how impactful our unified voice can truly be. While helping us grow our leadership and advocacy skills, YF&R prepares us to make an immediate impact on ourselves, our local communities, the agriculture industry, and AFBF as a whole.
— Matt Fimon, 2023-24 AFBF YF&R Committee Chair
On the third Monday of each month, YF&R CONNECT provides professional development and networking opportunities to members from around the country. This is a casual setting to touch base with other agriculturists while gaining exposure to top-notch presenters and hearing information about hot topics in agriculture, Farm Bureau and learning about resources available.
For more information or to register for these virtual meetings, sign up for the YF&R newsletter.
Farm Bureau's strength depends on its members' abilities to analyze agricultural issues and decide on solutions that best meet their needs. Competitive events provide an opportunity to recognize outstanding members.
In 2023, the winner of the Achievement Award, Excellence in Agriculture Award and Discussion Meet received $35,000 towards a new Ford truck, courtesy of Ford. The three runners-up received $20,000 towards a new piece of Case IH equipment, courtesy of Case IH. Third place finalists received a Case IH safe, courtesy of Case IH, a $2,500 cash prize, courtesy of American Ag as well as $1,665 of Stanley Black & Decker merchandise, courtesy of Stanley Black & Decker. Fourth place finalists received a Case IH solo stove, courtesy of Case IH.
The Achievement Award recognizes Young Farmers & Ranchers who have excelled in their farm or ranch and have honed their leadership abilities to superiority. Participants are involved in production agriculture with a majority of their income subject to normal production risks. Judges evaluate competitor's excellence in management, growth and scope of their enterprise and self-initiative that have been displayed throughout the farm or ranch.
The Excellence in Agriculture Award spotlights young Farm Bureau members who are agricultural enthusiasts but have not earned a majority of their income from an owned production agriculture enterprise in the past three years. Competitors are evaluated on their understanding of agricultural issues, leadership experiences and achievement, and their ability to communicate their agricultural story.
The American Farm Bureau Federation Discussion Meet competitive event simulates a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each participant. This competition is evaluated on an exchange of ideas and information on a pre-determined topic. Participants build basic discussion skills, develop a keen understanding of important agricultural issues and explore how groups can pool knowledge to reach consensus and solve problems.
Watch the YF&R Discussion Meet Final Four compete during AFBF's 2023 Annual Convention in San Juan, PR.
Farm Bureau’s young farmers and ranchers have worked for over 20 years to help provide food to those in need around our country through the Harvest for All campaign. More than 50 million Americans – that’s 1 in 6 – including nearly 17 million children, are food insecure, meaning they live at risk of hunger.
In 2022, YF&R programs across the country donated over 25 million pounds of food, spent 13,800 hours volunteering, and donated over $1,000,000 to their local food banks.
The Harvest for All campaign includes activities organized by state and county Farm Bureaus across the country.