Young farmers building network
By KRISS NELSON
Farm News staff writer
LEHIGH – The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer program is available for its men and women farmer-members throughout the state who meet the 18 to 35 age requirement.
This program, according to the IFBF, brings together young farmers from across the state, providing them with leadership and several participation opportunities to encourage their young members to build a stronger network and become active in the Farm Bureau organization, as well as, in the agricultural community at all levels including county, state and national.
A Young Farmer Advisory Committee was assembled with representatives across the state and, in July, a Webster County couple was named to that committee.
Jeremy and Alison Swanson, from Lehigh, will be representing IFBF’s District 5 and have been appointed to help coordinate activities and meetings of the IFBF Young Farmer group as well as to help create and encourage a growing network of young farmers in their district.
Jeremy Swanson said they were given the appointment through a nomination process and will serve on the committee through 2014.
“We wanted to get more involved with agriculture and Farm Bureau,” said Jeremy Swanson. “We want to keep up to speed as to what’s going on through the organization and keep tabs on policy through Farm Bureau,” Alison Swanson added.
The Swansons’ duties throughout their three-year term include meeting other committee members and planning the annual IFBF’s Young Farmers conference in Des Moines; and brainstorming ideas to attract other young farmers’ involvement.
The Swansons will be attending the American Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference, which is the American Farm Bureau Federation’s national conference this winter with other scheduled trips the following year, and ending their appointment with a policy trip to Washington, D.C. 2014.
Besides the planned conferences and meetings, the Swansons are mainly available to interact with other young farmers in their district.
“We are liaisons for young farmers,” said Jeremy Swanson.
“If they see problems or have questions they can come to us.”
He said he grew up on his family’s farm south of Dayton and graduated from Iowa State University majoring in agricultural systems technology.
After graduation, Swanson worked as a credit analysis/loan officer for City State Bank in Ogden. He has worked with Dave Mickelson at Mickelson Seeds for the last four and a half years in seed sales and precision ag sales.
Alison grew up on her family farm near Cushing, and after graduating high school also went on to Iowa State University and earned a degree in journalism, mass communication and public relations and has worked with the Iowa Pork Producers Association as their marketing and program director for the last five and half years.
Contact Kriss Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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