What has been your favorite Farm Bureau activity?
It is probably high on the popularity list with others, but I would have to say the WFBF Annual Meeting and YFA Conference. We get to see faces that we probably have not seen for a year and it’s usually accompanied by smiles and laughter. Being on the YFA Committee has given me a new respect for the WFBF Annual Meeting. I never truly understood the amount of work that goes into planning that type of event and to see the amount of enjoyment that is shown during the meeting kind of catches me off-guard. That weekend is truly, for some, a time to take a step back, decompress and enjoy spending time with those who have the same passions. I always dread the last day of the meeting but know that the memories I make will always be there for me to look back on until next year.
What would you tell YFA members about getting involved in the YFA program?
Their involvement is essential for Farm Bureau. YFA members are not only the future of Wisconsin agriculture but the future of WFBF. You are bringing the newest vision, ideas and thoughts to the table. We cannot move forward without their involvement. Do not be afraid to voice your ideas and your thoughts because more likely than not those thoughts will be a talking point or hot topic in the future. To be honest, I was unsure about becoming more involved in the YFA program but once I took that step, I could not imagine where I would be today. So many opportunities have come my way and it is simply because I became involved. It’s a program that is there to build, grow, guide you to become a voice and a vision that agriculture needs.
Why do you value your Farm Bureau membership?
I value my Farm Bureau membership because I know that it has and will continue to give back to me. If I had not become a Farm Bureau member, I would not have the close-knit friends that I have across Wisconsin and many other states. I would not have had the opportunity to be involved in one of the best leadership institutes in the state and the opportunity to travel to our nation’s capital to advocate for agriculture. But I would have to say that the biggest value that I have when it comes to my Wisconsin Farm Bureau membership is knowing that I am surrounded by those who want the same thing – to keep Wisconsin agriculture on the forefront, to keep a grassroots mindset and to ensure that we as farmers and ranchers are heard and known for what we want, who we are and what we need to pass our legacy on to the next generation.
Best words of wisdom.
One of my idols is Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs. I was fortunate enough to hear him speak at the American Farm Bureau Annual Convention. One of his saying resonated with me –
“Anything worth doing hurts a little.”
No matter what it may be – putting in the extra hours while others are out on the town, staying up throughout the night while others are sleeping or putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation in order to grow. Whatever your worth is, the time and sacrifice you put into it will always outweigh not doing anything at all.