2024 AFBF YF&R Leadership Conference
Breakout Sessions


Building Membership from the Ground Up – Jon Iverson & Jocelyn Anderson 
Membership is the life blood of Farm Bureau but how do you maintain, let alone increase, it? Led by the 2021 YF&R National Committee Chair Jon Iverson (Oregon) and Vice Chair Jocelyn Anderson (California) this interactive session will focus on ideas to attract new YF&R

Leadership 101: I'm a Farm Bureau Leader, Now What? – Jon Iverson
Whether you are newly elected, appointed, have been voluntold or hoping for a leadership position in the future, this session will help you learn what it takes to be a leader. Led by the 2021 YF&R National Committee Chair Jon Iverson, he will share things he has learned from being a Farm Bureau Leader for over a decade.

Not a Farmer? Not a Problem! Advocating for Agriculture – Heather Lifsey, Rachel Harman, Eileen Jensen 
Join us for a dynamic workshop that explores the crucial role non-farmers play in advocating for agriculture. Hosted by three non-traditional advocates with over 30 years of experience, this session is your ticket to uncovering savvy strategies for impactful advocacy, tailored for those who prefer their agriculture with a side of modern flare. Explore how diverse perspectives light up the path to a resilient and sustainable ag industry and discover hacks to crank up the volume on your voice, rallying support for farmers and rural communities. Gear up for a session that's not just about agriculture; it's about revolutionizing the way we advocate, connecting with the heartbeat of modern farming while unveiling the game-changing role non-farmers can play in championing agriculture.

Three Paths to Embracing Grassroots Agriculture Advocacy – Megan Richner, Seth Earl, Russ Kohler
Join us for an engaging and enlightening workshop, where three passionate advocates will share their unique approaches to grassroots advocacy, each making a meaningful impact in their communities. From agritourism to open farm days and classroom initiatives, this session promises to inspire and equip attendees with actionable ideas to enhance their advocacy efforts through three distinct “paths” to advocacy.

Empowering YOU to Ignite Agriculture Advocacy – Jason Fellows, Laura Haffner, Dana Stewart
In the world of “influencers” and Insta-perfect lives, do you feel like you’re never enough? In this session, we draw inspiration from the powerful concept of being the one to drive positive transformation in the agricultural landscape, just by making personal changes and embracing the “seemingly ordinary”. We will define your advocacy voice, and identify personal inflection points – those smaller, transformative moments in our own lives. This workshop is tailored for farmers and ranchers who are passionate about making a lasting impact on their families, communities and or industry.

Avoiding the Mistakes of Farm Succession Planning Failures – Ron Hanson
Most multi-generation family farming operations start out with the best of intentions for keeping their farm in the family and allowing their adult farming children to gain ownership that continues their farming legacy. But often that never happens. Mistakes in the planning process by families can cause these intended succession plans to fail and derail any hopes of passing on the family farm to the next generation. Often ending a young beginning farmer’s dream of taking over the family farming operation. This session provides young farmers with planning ideas and solution strategies to implement that help prevent succession planning failures to enable farm ownership transition success.

Business Basics for Beginning Farmers - Gary Matteson 
You know that you need to get a better understanding of your farm business finances. This session will show you basic tools for gathering financial information, what records you need and why, and how to make better business decisions based on your data and not your intuition. Plan for the things you want to accomplish, the profit you want to make, and the money you need to spend to make it happen. Understanding the direction you want to go and the essential record keeping you should have will give you a start on developing your own business management system.

Giving and Receiving Feedback with Confidence – Elizabeth Galbreath
“Feedback” can be a scary word to those of us who have gotten some harsh feedback or criticism at a challenging time. However, feedback is the key to personal and professional growth and can be one of the most useful tools we have in order to get better. In this session, learn more about how to make the process of both giving and receiving feedback less intimidating and more effective through tangible steps and tips to use in your relationships at work and at home. Gain confidence and set yourself apart from your peers by having important conversations for everyone’s benefit, including your own.

The Golden Ticket; Writing A Winning Resume  – Elizabeth Galbreath
Your resume may be the first or only impression a company or person may have of you, which means it has the potential to be the gateway or “ticket” to your next professional opportunity. This session will provide you with practical tips on how to describe the value you bring to a team on paper, guide you in self-reflection about your professional experiences so far, and provide you with a recruiter’s perspective on what’s most important in a candidate resume.

A Will Does Not a Transition Plan Make – Lisa Quist
You have gone to your attorney and had your will written. You also have a trust in place. But do you really have everything that's needed to successfully transition your operation to the next generation? Over the next 20 years, 70 percent of farmland will transfer to the next generation. It is estimated only 30 percent will stay as family farms. Ensuring that farming and ranching operations can continue to the next generation has become of paramount importance in rural America. The stakes are high - especially for the incoming generation. In this session, Lisa Quist will talk about the difference between an estate plan and a transition plan.

Be an Ag Literacy Champion in Your Community – Chris Young & Paula Peterson 
Frustrated with the lack of ag literacy in your own community? Learn how you can be part of the Foundation Outreach Team and a leader within ag literacy. In this session, you will get hands-on experience with the newest resources and tips to engage in ag literacy learning. Hear from an Outreach Team member, help brainstorm new and needed resources, and connect with fellow passionate Farm Bureau members about helping others understand agriculture.

Transfusions R Us: Recruiting New Blood onto Boards – Dr. Ken Culp, III & Kelsey Evans
Is your county board over-worked and burned out? Do members lack energy, enthusiasm, vitality, drive, and vision? Do you have trouble attracting, recruiting, engaging, or retaining 'new blood' onto your board? Do they continue to conduct the same programs that they’ve done for the last quarter century? This workshop will focus on identifying 10 proven methods for identifying and recruiting new board members and re-energizing your current board. Additionally, participants will gain specific information on transfusing these 10 proven methods into their county Farm Bureau organizations, injecting new blood and energy boards and its programs.

Developing Active Members and Volunteers in Rural Communities – Dr. Ken Culp, III & Kelsey Evans
Developing active members and volunteers in rural communities is very different than in metropolitan areas. Rural communities often fail to recognize resources available to them locally. Recruitment activities successful in one community may be unsuccessful in others. Likewise, members and volunteers in rural communities should be different from the roles in which they serve in larger, metropolitan communities. This workshop will guide participants through exploration, discovery, and identification of local resources and of potential member and volunteer audiences. Additionally, methods of recruiting, motivating, and mobilizing rural volunteers will be identified and practiced.

Knowledge You Won't Learn in College – Roger Hall and McKenna BushThrough an interactive mock interview, participants will participate in a live case study discussing the DOs and DONTs of the entire interview process and the power of an effective personal brand. We will have a live interview take place between Roger and one of Texas's Collegiate Farm Bureau Presidents. Participants will pre-screen the candidate's resume and social media profiles prior to the live interview, participate in moderated discussion throughout the interview, and discuss best practices for following up post-interview

How to Plan a Farm Tour for Legislators – Tom Donnelly
In this session, we will delve into the steps to take in organizing an impactful and informative farm tour that allows legislators to connect with their agricultural constituents. From selecting the right dates and coordinating logistics to crafting a compelling itinerary that highlights key agricultural practices and issues, participants will gain valuable insights into creating an immersive and educational experience. 

Practical Economic Impacts of Policy in the Livestock Industry – John Newton & Bernt Nelson
Join two national policy and economic leaders as they discuss the current state of the livestock industry. Whether you are a long-time rancher or a newcomer in the show ring, policy being made today will have economic impacts tomorrow and the young farmers who are the future of this industry are a critical voice in this discussion.

Meeting Minutes 101 – Amy Newton
Do you find yourself feeling overwhelmed with the task of drafting accurate yet concise meeting minutes? Fear no more, this session will cover time-saving tips and tricks for effective minute taking. We will discuss best practices for advance preparation (think templates), documenting discussions and committee reports, recording actions, handling corrections and more. You’ll leave feeling excited for your next meeting and ready to show off your newly acquired skills.