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Future Legacy: Young and Beginning Farmers Conference
Future Legacy: Young and Beginning Farmers Conference
Future Legacy: Young and Beginning Farmers Conference
Future Legacy: Young and Beginning Farmers Conference

In Good Hands

Giving the State’s Young, Beginning, and Small Farmers a Unique Opportunity to Learn and Grow

She may have tried, but even Mother Nature couldn’t cut short the exceptional event that was the Future Legacy: Young and Beginning Farmers Conference held Feb. 22-23 in North Little Rock. Throughout this two-day opportunity, coordinated by the Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas and held every two years, participants gain valuable insight into a range of topics relevant to young and beginning farmers in Arkansas. It’s also a great chance to network with fellow young farmers from across the state.

Unfortunately, this year inclement weather forced the early dismissal of attendees to ensure safe travels back to their homes across the state. But, the time we did spend engaging in sessions and enjoying some much needed in-person fellowship was invaluable.

Once again Dr. David Kohl, nationally recognized for his ability to engage, teach, and lead young farmers, facilitated the conference addressing issues specific to Arkansas farming. As usual, he covered relevant and valuable topics including: the top 12 practices of successful producers; how to position for success in a cyclical economy; megatrends anticipated for 2020-2030; as well as facilitating breakout sessions enabling participants to talk shop with farmers with whom they shared common experiences.

Conference attendee and Farm Credit Midsouth Credit Analyst Allyson Bise attended the conference this year with her husband, Avery, a young and beginning farmer with a rice and soybean operation located in Poinsett County.

“Avery and I really enjoyed the YBS Conference,” Allyson said. “Dr. Kohl’s presentation covers a wide range of topics including current economic trends, management factors, business financials, and more. I think many of the attendees benefited from hearing Dr. Kohl’s Business IQ segment.”

The Business IQ score assesses your current management based on different rating criteria. This allows participants to identify his or her strengths and determine areas for improvement.

“During the Business IQ segment, Dr. Kohl stressed the importance of knowing your cost of production,” she added. “This is an area where we are working to implement what we learned at the conference to our own farm operation.”

Allyson’s favorite part of the YBS Conference agenda, a sentiment shared by almost all attendees, was visiting BoBrook Farms. All conference participants were treated to a farm-to-table dinner and fellowship at BoBrook Farms, the owners of which are Farm Credit customers. All enjoyed hearing their story and learning more about their unique operation, an event venue and winery.

“The owners were very complimentary of Farm Credit’s support throughout their agritourism journey,” Allyson noted. “It was neat to observe the relationship between the owners and their Farm Credit loan officer.”

“The YBS Conference is a testament to Farm Credit’s investment and support in the future generation of farming,” Allyson added. “Avery and I both would recommend the YBS Conference to any young, beginning, or small farmer. The educational takeaways from the conference provide the tools to implement better management practices in your operation. It also provides an opportunity for fellowship with other young or beginning farmers who can relate to our experiences.”

Farm Credit Midsouth Senior Vice President Branch Operations, Chief Marketing Officer Michael Clayman has attended for a number of years and notes that, even though this year’s event was cut short, there was great benefit realized.

“Young farmers have told us they leave armed with information they can take back and put to work in their own operations,” he said. “It’s really a privilege for us to provide this service to the young farmers who will be contributing to Arkansas’s ag economy for years to come.”

Mark your calendars! Held every two years, the next Future Legacy: Young and Beginning Farmers Conference is tentatively scheduled to take place in February 2024. Watch Farm Credit Midsouth’s social media pages for an announcement when applications open for this exciting, no cost opportunity for Arkansas’s young producers. The conference is open to the state’s young (age 40 or younger) and beginning (farming 10 years or less) farmers. All types of agricultural production are welcome, including both full and part-time farmers. You do not need to be a Farm Credit customer to participate, and prior conference participants are welcome to attend again.

Future Legacy:
Young & beginning FARMERS Conference
Taking Over

This year’s Young & Beginning Farmers Conference took to the national stage with a ‘social media takeover’. Farm Credit Council’s Trey Elizondo & Samantha Barnett flew into North Little Rock & captured all of the conference action—interviewing & filming presenters, participants, & the Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas team. The content covered all aspects of the conference, and the clips were then used to showcase the event to the entire Farm Credit national audience via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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