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Farm Bureau helps open doors for young farmers says Floyd County’s Laura Cunningham

As young farmers, my husband and I face many new and exciting adventures on our farm, yet challenges and obstacles remain. Being active and involved with the Iowa Farm Bureau has proved to be extremely beneficial for us, and has opened many doors and presented so many opportunities to get involved in our community. 

Aaron and I currently serve as district chair for Iowa Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers Committee, and we love the opportunity to network with other young farmers from around the state and help organize our yearly conference.  Last year, nearly 600 young farmers from Iowa attended the conference, and gained valuable information and insight into opportunities and challenges for young farmers.

During the past few years we have built so many great relationships and made many memories through the Young Farmers Conference. The opportunity to socialize and network with other young farmers has been a great experience for us, and we have made many great connections and lifelong friends.  

The leadership development programs offered through the Iowa Farm Bureau have proven to be extremely valuable.  The Ag Leaders Institute was an excellent opportunity to learn about the grassroots process of Farm Bureau policy, and provided opportunities to have my voice heard. 

Along with my peers from the 2015 Ag Leaders class, we traveled to Washington D.C., to share our experiences with our elected officials, and let them know how policies would impact Iowans back home on the farm. I also had the opportunity to speak during a press conference held at the statehouse to share how proposed legislation would impact our farm and family. 

Iowa Farm Bureau’s F.A.R.M. (Farmer Advocates Reaching Mainstreet) Team is another great program I am involved in.  The program encourages farmers to engage in their community, and connect with consumers to answer questions about farming. 

This fall, the Floyd County Farm Bureau partnered with the Charles City Chamber of Commerce and the local Hy-Vee to host a dinner for community members with the entire meal sourced from Floyd County family farms. It was a great opportunity to make connections in the community and answer questions about local food production and farming in the community. 

Whether you are a young farmer just getting started or an experienced farmer getting ready to transition the farm to the next generation, Iowa Farm Bureau is a tremendous resource for all farmers and rural Iowans focused on prosperity and the future.