2017 Mid-January Update
MARCH 2-4, 2014
Gaylord National Harbor, Washington DC
This year’s Ag’s Promise had many challenges caused by the weather – 4 inches of snow Monday, causing travel problems for most attendees. Pennsylvania had about a dozen attendees, with five students from Penn State and five from Delaware Valley College participating in the program.
Sunday afternoon began with a meeting of the NYFEA leadership, delegates, and interested parties discussing how the organization can make a difference. Also discussion took place on how to get younger farmers involved in the organization with some great ideas developed. Many suggestions were put forth on how to use social media to attract interest among the younger generation.
Monday morning began with Matthew Mika from Tyson Foods speaking about his company and its position in international agriculture. Tyson sells one out of every five pounds of meat sold in the U.S., including beef, chicken, pork, and prepared foods. Matt said in 40 years the world will need 70% more food; population is growing 75 million every year. He challenged attendees to participate in ag leadership; speak their minds and promote the industry or others will present their message.
Unfortunately, Monday’s weather caused all of the other speakers to cancel. However, the program objective was accomplished, compiling key talking points to present to the legislators during appointments on Tuesday.
- A streamlined and available government process
- Availability of capital, tax breaks, and education for new and beginning farmers; emphasis on ag education
- Research and delivery – entrepreneurial activity and market development. Funding FFA, 4–H, land grants, Young Farmers, and trade development
- Food programs should education about nutrition and agriculture
Terminology (labels) based on sound science
- Consumer education
Monday afternoon the Ag Communication Award winners Gabrielle Murphy of PA and Savannah of CO presented an excellent workshop on how to be an effective communicator.
Following the afternoon activities, attendees boarded a bus for a legislative reception at Tortilla Coast on Capitol Hill. Travel was difficult because of the snowy streets, but a good time was had by all.
On Tuesday attendees put their education to good use in appointments with their Congressmen and Senators at the Capitol.
Ag’s Promise is an excellent program for young farmers who want to be part of the solution in promoting modern agriculture and bringing their challenges to the attention of government policymakers. Plan to attend next year!