Winter doesn’t seem like an ideal travel season, but I’ve learned that from the farmer’s perspective, sometimes it’s really the best or only time to get away.
In the past weeks we’ve visited Chicago and spent a weekend in Des Moines networking with other young farmers at the Iowa Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer Conference. These were two very different experiences, but each were wonderful opportunities to step off the farm.
Our weekend in the Second City was beautiful! It very well could have been cold, snowy, and miserable (as it is currently), but with our good fortune it was a spring-like weekend. We spent most of our time with family and friends eating, drinking, and being merry. Farmer J enjoyed (you could say loved) his first deep dish pizza, but his thoughts were constantly with the farm (many a guilty thought). On the other hand, I soaked up the city and tried to imagine my life had I actually followed through on my pie in the sky plans to move there. Talk about vastly different life experiences!
Young Farmer Conference
We are veterans of this annual conference, and we look forward to it every year! Young farmers are relatively rare (even in Iowa). The USDA’s 2012 Ag Census found that in Iowa, the average age of farm operators is 55.6. This conference is a chance to connect with others who have similar experiences, goals, and concerns. We attended sessions on using data in our operation, succession planning, and social media. The best part is meeting people from across the state and making meaningful connections within the industry. If you are curious about what went on at the conference, check out the #IAYF15 hashtag on Twitter and Facebook. You will get more perspectives than just mine!