Nineteen of Oklahoma’s top 20 high school seniors spent three days learning about leadership, team building and agriculture at the fifth annual Oklahoma Youth Leading Agriculture conference, June 15-17, in Oklahoma City. OYLA is hosted by Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee.
“These students are our best and brightest students across the state,” said Holly Carroll, OYLA and YF&R coordinator. “The main purpose of this event is to help them to realize the agricultural opportunities they have right here in Oklahoma.”
The conference was designed to prepare high school students for a future career in agriculture and to advance youth leadership. The group learned about effective habits of leaders, communications training, tips for college and the importance of rural doctors. They toured places such as Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Whole Foods, Lopez Food Industry and Express Ranch.
“Our hope is that after students learn more about agriculture-related jobs and the opportunities we can offer in Oklahoma, they’ll want to stay in our state and be involved in Oklahoma Farm Bureau,” Carroll said.
OYLA also encourages service-minded leadership. The students participated in a Kids Against Hunger food-packing event sponsored by the Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation.
“We are so grateful to the OYLA students for their help in packing 3,000 meals for hungry Oklahomans,” said Jeramy Rich, Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation president. “Oklahoma farmers and ranchers truly are feeding the hungry, starting right here at home.”