BY TYREL OBRECHT (Montana Stockgrowers Association)
As I attended MSGA’s Mid-Year convention this last weekend, I noticed there was a solid amount of younger producers there. Also, I noticed some excited older members commenting on how happy they were to see such a good turnout of young members in recent events. As the world’s population is constantly increasing and demand for food grows, it is important that agriculture survives. The relationship between different generations of agriculture producers is very important to the survival of the industry. The younger members of this industry learned their values, work ethic, and management skills from their elders, such as a grandfather or father. On the other hand, younger producers provide a tech-savvy, innovative thinking young mind to collaborate with those tradition skills.
I am greatly appreciative of all of the older members I met this weekend who said they will look out for me in the future. Some vowed to keep an ear open for job openings when I graduate college while some offered to hire me for the weekend when I’m not working at the office. Some even just offered me to visit their ranch and relax when I get a free weekend. By starting this relationship at a young age, I feel like I and other young producers can keep this industry going whether we produce beef, become loan officers, or marketers.
The older generation has set a solid foundation for young producers, and it is our duty to keep building on that, so generations below us can have the network and an even stronger foundation in years to come.
Northern Ag Network’s piece on youth at MSGA: “MT Stockgrowers: A Beacon of Youth Involvement”