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Young St. Lawrence County farmers hone leadership skills

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CANTON - Young farmers from St. Lawrence County travelled to Syracuse recently to attend the 2013 NYFB Leadership Conference.

The two-day event titled “Agriculture 20/20: Visions for Future Leaders” was a conference that encourages networking and idea exchanges for young farmers from across New York.

Workshops, exhibits and discussions were held to help address issues affecting young farmers in these hard times as well as to introduce them to resources and experts that are available. Workshop topics ranged from Speaking out for Agriculture, an introduction to helping farmers prepare for media questions and to be a strong voice for New York agriculture; to Risk Management/Crop Insurance Experience & Opportunity, which introduced a panel of experts to discuss risk management planning and factors to be taken into consideration when choosing levels of insurance for your farm.

“It was a good opportunity for young farmers to get together and discuss what’s going on in agriculture,” said Jay Rizza. Rizza, a St. Lawrence County Board member and 2013 NYFB Leadership Conference attendee enjoyed getting together with like-minded people who are experiencing the same issues and concerns in the agricultural industry. “Interaction gets people talking, and we were able to discuss local, state and national issues that are affecting all young farmers today.”

New York State Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers program provides a means by which young farmers (ages 18-35) can get involved in the mainstream of the organization’s activities.

At the same time, it provides the vehicle and pipeline for young farmer identification of problems and issues unique to the youngest generation of farm families. The program is geared to both couples and single young farmers. If you are interested in joining a Young Farmer group in your county, please contact Patti Dugan, deputy director of Member Relations, at 518-436-8495 or 1-800-342-4143.

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