Monday, November 17, 2008

Agricultural Future

I had a great time with the Agricultural Future of America (AFA) geared toward college students focused upon careers in agriculture and the Agricultural Future of America’s Alliance (AFA Alliance), made up of former AFA students who are employed in agriculture and related businesses. It is a dynamic group of young millennials (ages 12 to 27) who are going to transform this country for the better. They’ve got an incredible amount of energy, enthusiasm and vision for people so young.

Both AFA and the AFA Alliance are supported by the main players in the ag sector, the input suppliers, end users, financial partners and commodity associations. They provide a forum and meeting area for young people in a dynamic and critical industry for the USA.

In my presentation to them, I talked about the great things happening in the agricultural sector with niche products, alternative energy and improving worldwide diets. However, I also talked about the Achilles Heal of ag, which is the rapidly increasing aging of farmers in this country. Only draw bridge operators are older in age than farmers. When your average age is 60+ years, you are not as likely to take as much risk and get a bit set in your ways.

That’s why I’m so excited to see young people engaged in agriculture. Groups like AFA and the Alliance are critical to helping make transitions to this newest generation.

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