A grant to provide a speaker for a Young Farmers & Ranchers conference
Here is just one person’s reaction to speaker Jolene Brown’s message to young farmers and ranchers. Throughout the weekend, we heard countless others share how practical and impactful Jolene Brown’s presentation was for their situation.
“Jolene encouraged our group of Young Farmers & Ranchers to be bold enough to make difficult decisions to save our family farms. Just because a family business is “family” it’s not a place to rehabilitate a family member or consider a job guaranteed. Weak family businesses are not only unsuccessful, but also lead to strained family relationships. Jolene discussed the advantages of trial periods before farm transitions to ensure both the current and next generation are on the same track for success. She challenged the idea that one’s family farm is the only option for a young person planning to farm and that long-term stability is built on trust and respect on both ends of the transition. While sitting in this session, I was thinking, ‘I need to get my parents and my in-laws (we’re farm families on both sides) to go with me to a workshop like this in the future.’ I wanted them to hear and experience what was being presented so we can work together to strengthen our businesses. I’ve already planned to ask for an annual farm meeting with my family to intentionally discuss finances, staffing, productivity, equipment and transition planning. We’re just having casual conversations right now, but I want to be helpful to my parents and also prepared to take on a bigger role in the event that our situation changes unexpectedly or more quickly than planned. Jolene’s presentation gave my husband and me practical ideas to implement now and the resources to do so well, but she also made us think more about how we can be strategic in things like parenting decisions that will lead to a more successful transition when we’re ready to retire.”