Reflections from Session Four of YF&R Leadership Training

June 2024

Written by Blaire Fisher and Bobby Floyd, YF&R Class X Leadership Group

After an exhilarating experience at the American Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) conference, we eagerly returned to Gainesville for session four of our YF&R leadership training. This session was brimming with insightful lessons, camaraderie and invaluable experiences that further fueled our passion for agriculture and leadership. Here are some key reflections from our enriching journey: 

Discovering Our Personality Traits: A pivotal lesson from session four was delving into our distinct personality traits. Through interactive exercises facilitated by experts like John Hall, we gained a deeper understanding of our strengths and weaknesses. Utilizing tools such as the Gallup Poll and the Working Genius test, we uncovered how each of us derive joy and passion in our day-to-day activities. This newfound self-awareness empowered us to navigate various situations with confidence and effectiveness. 

Mastering Meeting Dynamics: Effective communication is the cornerstone of successful leadership. We honed our meeting management skills under the guidance of Ryan Perez, learning essential techniques such as calling meetings to order, motioning, appealing, and amending. These practical insights equipped us with the tools to conduct efficient and productive meetings, fostering collaboration and decision-making within our teams. 

Embarking on Educational Excursions: One highlight of this session was our immersive tour of Southeast Seed Mill and Cook Farm in Trenton. Witnessing firsthand the seed packing process and exploring the bountiful fields of squash, tomatoes, peppers and watermelons was both educational and inspiring. We were privileged to learn from industry experts and former YF&R leadership team members, gaining valuable insights into agricultural practices and entrepreneurship. 

Guidance from Seasoned Leaders: We were fortunate to receive wisdom and advice from accomplished leaders like Ryan Armstrong and Jarad Plair, who generously shared their experiences and motivations for joining the YF&R program. Their inspiring words resonated with us, reinforcing our commitment to making a positive impact in the agricultural community. 

Cultivating Personal Growth: Engaging in personality assessments such as the Enneagram test facilitated by Michele Curts and Brie Reichenbach provided invaluable insights into our individual perspectives and behaviors. This deeper understanding of our differing personalities strengthened our bonds as a team, fostering empathy and collaboration. 

Looking Ahead: As we eagerly anticipate our upcoming YF&R Leadership Conference in West Palm Beach, we are filled with excitement and anticipation. Armed with newfound knowledge, skills and camaraderie, we are ready to embark on this next chapter of our leadership journey, united in our passion for agriculture and committed to driving positive change in our communities. 

Session four was a transformative experience, blending education and hands-on learning in a dynamic environment. As we reflect on our journey thus far, we are grateful for the opportunities to grow, learn and connect with fellow agricultural enthusiasts. With each session, we are one step closer to reaching our full potential as leaders in the vibrant landscape of farming and ranching.