By Glenn Brunkow, Pottawatomie County farmer and rancher
I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds. The opening of the FFA creed, and a phrase near and dear to the heart of every member who has ever put on the corduroy. It is a phrase that speaks to the very core of who we are as farmers and ranchers and one of the reasons Kansas Farm Bureau supports FFA.
This past week I had the honor of representing KFB at the Kansas FFA Convention, and I must admit being a bit selfish when it comes to volunteering for this gig. I don’t know what it is about the convention that fires me up, but I find no matter how bad the weather or the current situation in agriculture is, I am ready to tackle anything after attending. This year certainly tried to test that.
Maybe that was why this convention was extra special; I was fortunate enough to spend three days on the state officer nominating committee. It was three days of intense interviews with the candidates and long hours, but it also was three days of getting to know 13 incredible young adults. It was an experience I wish I could have shared with everyone.
I got to hear the hopes and dreams of these young leaders as they start their journey in life. I experienced the unbridled enthusiasm and optimism of the best and brightest Kansas FFA has to offer and let me tell you the future is bright. This group of young people have a passion for agriculture and a burning desire to serve their communities. They all know they are going to accomplish something great; they just don’t know what that will be yet.
If you have doubts about the character of our youth, I challenge you to spend a day at the Kansas FFA Convention. You will find several hundred of the very best examples of what we hope our kids will be. All clad in the blue and gold, they will make you feel good about the future.
That is why it is so important all of us invest in the future of agriculture by supporting FFA, 4-H and FCCLA. The money and time we give to these organizations is not a donation, rather it’s an investment in our future. Will all the youth in these organizations come back to the farm? No, but many will find careers in agriculture. Even more will go on to find careers in other fields, and that is OK.
That is why I am so proud to support and help fund these great youth organizations. Through our contributions we must continue to grow future generations of leaders. Why? Because, I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds.
“Insight” is a weekly column published by Kansas Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm organization whose mission is to strengthen agriculture and the lives of Kansans through advocacy, education and service.