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5 Reasons to Attend a Young Farmer and Rancher Leadership Conference

5 Reasons to Attend a Young Farmer and Rancher Leadership Conference
I grew up in Grass Range, MT on a large cow-calf operation that my parents managed. I was actively involved in our 4-H club all throughout school and helped to start an FFA chapter in our school my senior year. I am now studying Agriculture Relations with a minor in Animal Science at Montana State University with the intention of pursuing a career as an Animal Nutritionist selling feed. I feel it is important to be involved as it provides many networking, education, and advocating opportunities. 
This time, what happened in Reno certainly didn’t stay in Reno. I’m talking about all the knowledge, connections, and experiences I gained from the American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers & Ranchers Conference, of course. As a second time attendee I am still amazed at how impactful this leadership conference really is. 
Here are my top 5 reasons why anyone interested or involved in the agriculture industry should attend:

Networking opportunities
This conference is a great chance to meet a variety of like-minded people also involved in the agriculture industry. Different luncheons are designed to specifically allow attendees to interact and meet people with some very unique stories and learn more about their involvement in the industry.
 
Useful workshops
At this conference I found the workshops to be very useful and beneficial to me. This year I was able to attend workshops aimed at college students which gave helpful tips and ideas on how to best reflect yourself and tailor your resume to a specific position. I attended another career readiness workshop that informed us of different social media sites, interviewing strategies, and how to stand out from your peers when trying to secure a job. Lastly, I attended a workshop put on by three different states YF&R members highlighting events that have been successful for them.
 
Relevant speakers
Keynote speakers at the YF&R Conference are always interesting to listen to. This year I especially enjoyed Tyne Morgan, US Farm Report host. She works to bring viewers the latest agriculture and market related news by covering stories impacting rural America’s farmers and ranchers. In her talk she highlighted her agriculture broadcasting career and what it has entailed. She emphasized what we as producers need to be doing to positively promote the industry. American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall also gave an interesting talk. He and his wife spoke on how they became involved with Farm Bureau and where their experiences have led them, including the goals they have for the industry. 

Intriguing tours
Each year a variety of tours are offered. They range from the agriculture aspects the area has to fun and historical activities the city offers. This year I went on the tour to Lake Tahoe where we were able to check out the lake, and explore the small village we were dropped off in. 

Travel opportunities
If you love to travel this is another great reason to attend the National YF&R Conference. Every year this conference moves locations. The first year I went it was in Pittsburgh, PA and this year’s conference was held in Reno, NV. This conference is a great way to experience different cities of the United States and learn about their agriculture productions.


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