More than 30 young agriculturalists gathered in the Ardmore area for the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers summer conference held July 13-15.
The event brought together YF&R members from around the state for two days of tours, agricultural information and fun with fellow agriculturalists.
“We had a great time at this year’s YF&R summer conference,” said Travis Schnaithman, OKFB YF&R state chairman. “Our members enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about agriculture and agribusiness in southern Oklahoma while expanding our perspectives.”
The conference kicked off on Thursday, July 13, with a cookout sponsored by Oklahoma AgCredit along with volleyball and plenty of time to visit and connect with each other.
Tours on Friday gave summer conference attendees access to several agriculture businesses in the Ardmore area: Mid-American Steel and Wire in Madill where scrap metal is transformed into barbed wire and other fencing materials; the Tishomingo National Fish Hatchery; and the Noble Research Institute, where YF&R members learned about a wide variety of the institute’s agricultural research programs.
YF&R members also heard from American Farm Bureau YF&R committee members Chandler and Jenna Bowers of Texas as they presented their agriculture story to the group. The Bowers, who attended the entire summer conference, grow a variety of crops on their farm in the Texas Panhandle near Pampa.
A variety of speakers capped off the conference on Saturday morning, providing an opportunity for members to learn how to build and grow their farms, ranches, businesses and themselves. Greg Gunn presented how YF&R members could live with a vision and purpose to establish a healthy work-life balance. Brady Sidwell of Sidwell Strategies shared information on marketing commodities using futures and options. YF&R State Committee Member Brent Howard shared insight into farm succession planning. Attendees also learned about a variety of USDA loan programs to help them grow their farms and ranches.
The OKFB YF&R program is open to young agriculturalists ages 18-35 as an opportunity to grow as leaders and agriculturalists to provide our industry with innovative leaders for tomorrow.