2014 Young Farmers and Ranchers Convention Held in Grand Island


Grand Island, NE -- Farming and Ranching are top professions in Nebraska, but as with many jobs it can be tough to break into the field.

To help with that, the Nebraska Young Farmers and Ranchers hold annual conventions to allow younger farmers to learn the tricks of the trade.

Over 200 age 18-35 came together over the weekend to learn new ways to operate on their farm.

"It's just great because young producers can come together and they can visit and they can play on one another, see what's working for each other, network, plus also learn a lot about a lot of valuable information," said Shelly Thompson, the Chair of the Young Farmer Rancher Committee.

Two farmers said they come to conventions to help improve their operations.

"We've been coming to the Young Farmer and Rancher Conference for about 9 years. We enjoy coming, just networking with old friends, meeting new friends and just learning more about our own operation," said 34-year old Nancy Anderson from Crawford.

Twenty-two-year old Eric Kamler from Geneva said, "Sharing ideas. You can tell the momentum of this industry is growing very quickly. I think that having a lot of young people like ourselves coming back to this industry is a very good thing and it's a good thing for the industry and obviously long term, for the state so I'm excited about it and just looking forward to the future."

And discussions are not just based on one big topic.

Thompson said, "What we typically try to do is just have a lot of breakout sessions that will appeal to everyone, not just one demographic and so we have lots of different options for you to go to."

That way each person can gain something different for their work.

Anderson said, "A lot of times it's with financial opportunities. One big thing is talking about wills, estate planning, things that a lot of times we just don't think about. We forget about. And ways to talk about other family members and what we need to do to prepare for the future."

"Our operations vary so much but one thing we have in common is that we do produce food for everybody and that's a commonality that I think we all can truly come together on and that's one thing we're going to have to come together on is being on the same message with everything," said Kamler.

The groups of farmers and ranchers have been growing according to farmers who attend these conventions annually.

Anderson said, "It's so amazing to see all the college students that are here and who are willing to learn more about agriculture and what they can do to be a part of agriculture."


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