BOZEMAN — A one-of-a-kind conference for young agricultural producers and stakeholders is going to be held this coming weekend Oct. 15-17 at the GranTree Inn in Bozeman.
Hosted by the Montana Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer and Rancher (YF&R) Committee, the event, formally known as the Young Ag Leadership conference, has a wide range of workshops and speakers focused on the challenges young producers face.
Melrose Rancher and YF&R Chair JM Peck said the conference agenda is designed for anyone involved in production agriculture or the sectors that support the states number one industry.
“We're covering topics from being a better advocate, how to do generational transitions, ag market outlooks, to agriculture and climate change,” Peck explained. “We have a great number of workshops that are just going to be really valuable depending on what you're interested in or what you'd like to learn more about.”
The conference is a great foundation for young producers who are looking to start their own operation or take over the family business.
“It's so timely too when you look at the average age of our farmers and ranchers out there across the state,” said Peck. “That number is getting up there and into the mid to late 60s. There's really going to be a changing of the guard or changing generations in the coming years. Having a conference and getting together as young ag leaders in the state is more important now than it's ever been.”
For JM Peck, networking with fellow producers is a highlight of the conference.
“I think networking is so important and that's one of the things that's not necessary on the agenda but is vital,” Peck explained. “I'm from Southwestern Montana. Getting to sit next to someone from Northeastern or Northwestern Montana and hear their perspective is important. Our state is so diverse and those challenges we face and how we deal with them are different. We can learn so much from our neighbors across the state. I think that's one of the most valuable things.”
“I always come away from these conferences motivated,” said Peck. “Motivated about my business, about agriculture in general and about how we can make it better. By being better advocates and better communicators and represent our industry. And do a better job at home because that's where the rubber meets the road.”
Attendees do not have to be Montana Farm Bureau members to attend. Visit https://mfbf.org/Article/2021-Young-Farmer-Rancher-Leadership-Conference to register for the event.