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Hundreds gather for Young Ag Professionals Leadership Conference
Buckeye Farm News
Young Agricultural Professionals learned more about the ag industry and themselves when they attended the Young Ag Professionals Leadership Conference earlier this month in Columbus.
About 200 people were at the two-day conference in Dublin where they attended professional development seminars. Jeremy Evans, co-chair of the Young Agricultural Professionals Advisory Team, said feedback has been mostly positive.
“We were happy with all the speakers,” said Evans of Tuscarawas County. “The best part of it was meeting new people and being able to network with other people.”
One workshop focused on how to remain active in Farm Bureau after age 35 when no longer in the Young Ag Professionals program.
“Farm Bureau is not just for a short time in your life,” said Darrell Rubel, OFBF director of volunteer development. “No matter what your age, there are opportunities for you.”
Some of the other speakers were Julie Fox with Ohio State University Extension talking about how to market yourself and your farm, OFBF’s Senior Director of Corporate Communications Joe Cornely addressing common myths about agriculture and how to deal with the media about them and Sarah Carano of the American Red Cross talking about what you can do before, during and after a weather disaster.
“During one session, the young ag professionals learned about how to use social media such as Facebook to tell about their operation and why they should tell everybody about it. Social media reaches out to everybody and has the potential to reach millions of people,” Rubel said.
Evans said that “hands down” that the best session came from Chad Hymas, who had a one-ton bale of hay fall on him in 2001, leaving him a quadriplegic.
“It really hit home with me,” he said. “There were very few dry eyes in the room. It was a very moving, touching discussion of life. We got a lot of nice comments. I think it really hit home with other folks.”
Evans also said a highlight was meeting other young people from around the state who are in the ag industry.
“Sometimes at the local level there aren’t very many young people who are doing the same things,” he said. “It was nice being able to see that on the state level we are all facing the same situations, that we’re not alone.”