Community is at the heart of farming and ranching and building a strong foundation within your local network will help you stay connected. As a farmer or rancher, you have unique working hours — starting before many have risen out of bed and often going late into the night. With long and inconsistent hours, it’s not always easy to stay involved in your local community. Below we outline some ideas to help you get more involved.
Getting involved with groups that encourage hands-on learning for youth, like 4-H and FFA ,allows you to use your agricultural knowledge to help educate kids in your community and promote working in the ag industry. Reach out to your local 4-H or FFA chapter to learn how you can get involved. There may even be opportunities to present on topics you have a lot of knowledge on — caring for livestock, farm safety, new farm technology and more.
Agricultural boards and organizations
No matter what you produce as a farmer or rancher, there is a board or an organization for you. Ag industry groups often participate in community outreach events and provide you with an opportunity to meet and connect with others in your industry.
From exhibits to presentations, county fairs are known for promoting agriculture and reminding the public of the important role that it plays in the community. They also provide educational opportunities for youth and adults. Getting involved in the local county fair is a good way to not only connect with the community, but also promote your agricultural background.
As a farmer or rancher, you may work on your own most days, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look for ways to stay connected to those in your industry. You’ll likely find there are a variety of networking groups you can join and share ideas. These groups can help you build a strong network of friends, mentors and business connections. Additionally, an important member of your network is your local Farm Bureau agent. He or she can help you ensure your farm or ranch is covered.