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Cultivate and educate

01/12/2011 @ 10:13am

The New Century Farmer conference in July this year provides a chance for 50 college-age studentss to accelerate their career preparation. The weeklong conference brings together young farmers from across the country to help them gain knowledge and insights that are important to success.

Speakers will cover topics from marketing to succession planning to new technology. Students will learn the people skills required to build relationships.

The purpose of the conference is for young farmers to get an understanding of what agriculture is today and what it might look like in the future.

The New Century Farmer conference is sponsored by Pioneer Hi-Bred, Rabo AgriFinance, and Case IH, with media partner Successful Farming magazine. A special project of the National FFA Foundation, the event is held in July each year in Johnston, Iowa.

This is the only program the National FFA organization puts on that is entirely focused on production agriculture.

“It is important that we provide as many skills and opportunities as possible so these young farmers can be successful in pursuing their passion of production ag,” says Marty Tatman, education specialist with the National FFA Organization. “They are the backbone of our nation.”

Highlights Of 2010

In addition to hearing from the packed lineup of speakers, last year’s participants were able to speak with several commodity groups. Touring local plants was a new addition to the schedule, and those activities were very successful.

Mitch Rooks from Perrysville, Ohio, toured both an ethanol and a pasta plant. He said the tours opened his eyes to the way he helps feed and fuel America.

“We have an ethanol plant close to where I live, but I have never been to it. It was cool to see how we grow the corn, and the final product ends up in someone’s car,” he said. “Touring the pasta plant was another aspect of seeing how the wheat we grow becomes the pasta on someone’s table.”

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