Why Should I Get Involved?

By Jeff and Chandra Pagel
YF&R Committee Members

Do you ever ask yourself the question “Why should I get involved?” That’s the question I asked myself while growing up, watching mom and dad attend many Farm Bureau events while I was stuck at home doing the chores. Fast forward a few years and now it’s the other way around.

So why did I get involved?

By being a Farm Bureau member, I have been able to network and create new friendships in the process. I enjoy attending events with other young farmers who may be experiencing the same situations or facing the same challenges as myself. Whether it’s comparing high healthcare costs or conversing about farm transition planning, these are scary topics that are often avoided in conversation, and fellow farmers are often curious about how others are preparing and planning.

I recently attended American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) leadership conference, FUSION, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While at the conference, I was able to network with fellow young farmers and ranchers from across the U.S. that were experiencing similar situations. We were able to discuss topics such as costs and farm transitions. In addition, we learned about agriculture in the Pittsburgh on tours and gained new ideas to bring back to our own farms.

Another important reason why I got involved was to be an advocate for agriculture. As young farmers, if we are not out there telling our story, someone else will try to tell it for us. Unfortunately, the story may not be told as we envisioned it. Farm Bureau has enabled Chandra and I to tell our story. Growing up in South St. Paul and only being involved with the family farm for four years, Chandra has learned how to promote our farm and agriculture through Farm Bureau.

Just like anything else, the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. This is why I encourage other young farmers to get involved and tell their story. As Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation President Paap once said, “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”