SC Youth Learn Leadership and Agriculture at SC Farm Bureau Conference
Forty-seven rising high school juniors and seniors from across South Carolina recently participated in the South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation’s (SCFB) 2016 Youth Leadership Conference in Newberry, SC.
The conference, held on the Campus of Newberry College June 12-15, allowed students to gain valuable leadership skills, a better understanding of SC agriculture, and of the South Carolina legislative process.
“Our Youth Leadership Conference, sponsored by the SCFB Women’s Leadership program, allows students to explore opportunities within agriculture while developing their skills to be leaders in the industry,” SCFB Ag Literacy Director, Vonne Knight, said.
The conference operates on a two-year curriculum cycle where students learn about agricultural marketing and promotion one year and about government relations and agricultural advocacy the next. This year’s conference focused on legislative action in South Carolina.
Students were addressed by industry professionals on leadership, goal setting and legislative history of SC. Dr. Nathan Saunders, Curator of Manuscripts at the University of South Carolina’s South Caroliniana Library discussed with participants the history of South Carolina legislation and how they can become involved in the legislative process. Director of organizational training and leadership development for SCFB, Jessica Cabrera, engaged participants in leadership activities essential for students to develop personally and professionally.
2016 SCFB Youth Ambassador Dalton Stalvey said, “Youth Leadership Conference is a great way to meet people from all across South Carolina who share a passion for agriculture. We were able to build leadership skills while expanding our network and agricultural knowledge.”
The Newberry County Young Farmers and Ranchers also hosted their annual Ag Olympics competition for the conference attendees.
“South Carolina’s agricultural industry is a vital part of the state’s economy,” SCFB President Harry Ott said. “We advocate so our children and grandchildren can farm long after we are gone. Educating our youth on opportunities available to them within the agriculture industry is the first step in involving students so they can have a lasting voice in today’s issues.” The SC Farm Bureau Federation is a non-profit membership organization formed to promote and preserve the work of family farmers and rural lifestyles across the state. In exchange for their annual dues and financial support of education, promotion and lobbying efforts on behalf of agriculture and family farmers, Farm Bureau members are entitled to discounts and access to a number of quality products.
The organization serves more than 100,000 member families in 47 chapters and has been around since 1944. Persons interested in supporting agricultural education are encouraged to contact their county Farm Bureau office or the South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation at www.scfb.org for additional information.