As a 6th generation dairy farmer from Weber County, I love what I do. It is hard work, stressful, challenging and rewarding. Many say that there is no future left for agriculture in our state – I disagree.
I love the springtime. One of my favorite things of being a farmer is having lots of work to do and being able to actually go do it. When I go home at night after a good day on the farm, there is a tremendous feeling of accomplishment and happiness.
Some of you that read this may not know, but agriculture is in real trouble right now. Prices for some farm products – like food for you or for animals – are at 40-year lows. Government regulations can be suffocating. Workers are so very hard to find, with many of our farmers and ranchers not able harvest the crops they grow because of a lack of workers. Current trade policies – or even trade wars – keep our American agricultural products from finding hungry people all over the world.
I was feeling a little down last month. As president of the Utah Farm Bureau, I feel the weight of the challenges that farmers and ranchers face in our state. I know how hard they work and the sacrifices they make to continue to keep the legacy alive in their communities. But during an American Farm Bureau Board of Directors meeting, I came across a quote from my favorite American president, Abraham Lincoln that lifted and inspired me
“The best way to PREDICT the future is to CREATE it.”
I know that is exactly what we need to do in Utah – create the future that we want for us. Just think about what that meant for President Lincoln. He had a vision for how our country could look. The much easier path was to leave it all the same, but he knew that the fight to abolish slavery would forever change our country. So he fought, and in the end gave his life for his cause.
At the Utah Farm Bureau, we will do everything in our power to “Create the Future”. Our mission statement is to “Inspire all Utah families to connect, succeed, and grow through the miracle of agriculture.” Here is how we are working to do that.
1: Our farms have to be able to make a profit. We are working to help farmers and ranchers develop ways to get their products directly to the market. Utahns are very industrious and creative. Utah’s farmers and ranchers that are successful in the future will find innovative ways to develop and market products to our growing population. Farm Bureau will work to ensure their success at every turn. We NEED farmers and ranchers in Utah.
2: We will never stop fighting for unnecessary government regulation. Our Farm Bureau policy team takes their orders from farmers and ranchers all over this state. When debilitating issues arise, we will use every weapon available to fight for the rights of farmers and ranchers. We cannot afford to lose.
3: We will continue to develop new leaders: In March we took 100 young farmers and ranchers to Washington, D.C. We met with our representatives, senators, and government agency leaders to help them understand that agriculture is in good hands for the future. It was amazing to see how those young Farm Bureau leaders represent all our members on issues that are vital to the future of Utah.
4: To ensure a bright future for agriculture, we need to redouble our efforts to help our neighbors understand what agriculture is today, why we do it, and why the things we do are good for everyone. Like any industry, we need technology in agriculture to succeed. Farmers and ranchers are the true environmentalist. We love our farm, animals and land, and we will do everything in our power to take care of those resources.
I invite you as members of Farm Bureau to work with us to CREATE the future for agriculture in this state and in our country. We can succeed, we must succeed, we will succeed. Together, I know we can do it.