Last week I had the chance to serve as a counselor for the Nebraska Agriculture Youth Institute (NAYI) where over 150 high school seniors and juniors were in attendance. I have always loved attending NAYI and it is one of my favorite parts of the summer.
These students had the opportunity to listen to numerous speakers discuss various facets of the agriculture industry and issues the ag industry is currently facing. Along with learning about agriculture, the students participated in many fun activities.
The average age of the U.S. farmer is 55 years old, and often I hear people worry about the lack of youth wanting to return to the farm. Well last week I talked with many students who plan to go home and take over their family’s operation. Other students plan on finding a job in agriculture off the farm but are just as passionate about the agriculture industry. They understand that it is up to us, the younger generation to start bridging the gap between consumers and producers. Throughout the week they shared ways they have or plan to advocate for agriculture.
By the end of the week I may have been sleep deprived, but it was worth it to meet the new faces of agriculture. I can’t wait to see how these students share the importance of agriculture with people they meet. As far as I am concerned, the future for agriculture is bright.