Young Farmers & Ranchers Gather for Annual Conference

The 2023 Young Farmers and Ranchers Leadership Conference brought together more than 200 agriculturalists from across the state. Themed Growing Forward, the conference focused on equipping participants with leadership skills, industry insights and networking opportunities.  

Throughout the conference, participants engaged in a series of breakout sessions and farm tours. The session topics ranged from integrating AI in pest management, estate planning, the importance of personal branding, a legislative update on the 2023 farm bill and more. The conference featured keynote speakers Cody and Erika Archie, owners of Bar 7 Ranch in Gatesville, Texas. The couple spoke on the importance of being the voice of agriculture and meeting people where they are to share the story of agriculture. 

Conference attendees had the opportunity to test their industry knowledge and skills through various competitive events like Achievement in Agriculture, Excellence in Agriculture and Discussion Meet. The finalist for each competition will compete at Florida Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Meeting in October. From there, the state winner from each category will compete at the national level at American Farm Bureau’s annual conference in January 2024. 

The Achievement in Agriculture finalists are Buck and NoraBeth Carpenter of Madison County, Brandt and Samantha Hendricks of Santa Rosa County and John and Emilee Peterson of Baker County.   

The Excellence in Agriculture finalists are Jaime Jerrels of Levy County, Rebecca Hall of Alachua County and Bernie and Avery LeFils of Volusia County.  

The final four Discussion Meet finalists are Erin Jones of Gilchrist County, Chad Haas of Volusia County, Sarah Luther of Suwannee County and Jesse Cone of Madison County. 

Young Farmers and Ranchers between the ages of 18-35 who are interested in honing in on their leadership skills and expanding their network are encouraged to join their local county Young Farmers and Ranchers group. Next year’s conference is set for July 12-14, 2024 in Palm Beach.  

To view conference photos, click here.