Registration is open for the 2021 Iowa Farm Bureau Federation’s (IFBF) Young Farmer Conference, geared toward farmers and agribusiness professionals ages 18-35. Due to the ongoing pandemic, this year’s conference will be held virtually Jan. 29 and 30 and features two dynamic keynote speakers, eight live breakout sessions, networking opportunities and more.
“This year’s theme, ‘Always Essential,’ encompasses how farmers, agriculture and food production have been a focal point during the pandemic, and it’s clear that food will always be essential. And, of course, we know food production starts on the farm,” said Mary Ebert, IFBF Young Farmer chair. “While more than 500 young farmers across the state would normally gather in person to learn and network at this annual event, we’ve found some great speakers to safely bring perspective and valuable insights virtually to young farmers after a challenging year. The sessions offer something for everyone.”
Jan. 29 keynote speaker, Zach Johnson, known as The Millennial Farmer to his 700,000 YouTube subscribers, is a fifth-generation farmer from Minnesota. With his talk, “Farmers Are Just Like Real People,” he’ll share his vision to build a connection between farmers and consumers and provide farmer to farmer education. The next evening, Jan. 30, Jeff Havens, a business growth expert, will dive into how to “Uncrapify Your Future!” Havens is known for providing serious solutions with a side of humor to bring fresh perspectives that run counter to conventional wisdom.
Scheduled breakout sessions include a mix of topics that are top of mind for young farmers, including balancing the business side of the farm with family life. Speakers will share advice on embracing farm life with a ‘city’ background and managing stress when different personalities are working side by side. A variety of farm business experts will share insight on off-farm investments, taking advantage of disaster recovery programs, contract hog production considerations, hay marketing and more. A trauma care specialist with Iowa Methodist Medical Center will also review with participants actions they can take to “Stop the Bleed” and save a life when farm injuries occur.
During the virtual event, six ag-related businesses will also be participating in a live pitch-off in an effort to be named Iowa Farm Bureau’s Grow Your Future Award winner with a top cash prize of $7,500. Viewers are encouraged to vote for their favorite ag business, and the top three winners will be announced at the conclusion of the conference.
To view the full 2021 IFBF Virtual Young Farmer Conference agenda and to register, visit https://www.iowafarmbureau.com/Farmer-Resources/Farm-Bureau-Leaders/Young-Farmer-Program/Young-Farmer-Conference. Registration is free and for members only. To become a member, visit www.iowafarmbureau.com.