Roy Rancher enjoys belonging to Great Young Farmer & Rancher group
Bronya Willmore, who ranches with her family about 20 miles outside of Roy, is a new member to the Montana Farm Bureau YF&R group and attended a conference over the weekend at Fairmont Hot Spring. Bronya talked about some of the activities they did:
Bronya: Friday night we all gathered together and we had a wonderful meal and then we played some bingo and that got everybody pretty fired up. There were some really cool prizes for the winners of that. And then we adjourned, but still had some social time on Friday evening and had a really good conversation with the director of Department of Revenue. So it was a great networking opportunity for young people. And then Saturday morning we got up and had breakfast and then we heard from Courtney Dehoff and she had a great presentation. Then we broke out into workshops.
If you could describe your top takeaways from the conference, what would they be?
Bronya: Well, I think for sure my top takeaway was from Courtney's (Courtney DeHoff; “Breaking the Mold”) presentation. We want consumers to be open to hearing our side of the story. But I think sometimes as AG producers, we forget we also need to be open to hearing from them and hearing their concerns and their interests.
We want consumers to be open to hearing our side of the story. But I think sometimes as AG producers, we forget we also need to be open to hearing from them and hearing their concerns and their interests.
Talk about the importance of Young Farmers and ranchers and why more people ought to be involved in it.
Bronya: Well, I think there's a lot of really good information that can be gained. The speakers that they provided us with have experience and have been many places that we maybe don't get the opportunity since we're committed on the farm and the ranch. So hearing what's worked in other parts of the area, we can learn from their experiences and not necessarily have to learn the hard way on our own. I think that's a huge advantage. And then the networking is huge. Hearing struggles that other people have had across the state, and how they've overcome those issues. And I think it's just really important to keep all of these small communities going. We have to band together and we have to put a lot more time and effort into making improvements where we can in our communities.
it's just really important to keep all of these small communities going. We have to band together and we have to put a lot more time and effort into making improvements where we can in our communities.
How important it is, is it for this organization to continue to grow, looking forward.
Bronya: I think it is so extremely important. I didn't realize until I just recently started getting more involved with Farm Bureau, but the amount of work that they do with the legislation and that, I think that's huge. That's where you're really going to make a difference. This isn't an organization that you just have a couple of meetings a year, and it's great to get together. Everybody visits. If you want to actually make a difference and have your voice be heard, this is the kind of organization to be in because they're listening and they want our feedback. What are we struggling with day in and day out, and how can they help us? They're taking our concerns straight to the capital, and I think that's amazing. That gives us, as young producers, a lot of power.
Through your association with young farmers and ranchers, have you changed anything in your operation or have you tweaked anything in your operation from what you've learned?
Bronya: I have changed, I think, my mindset a lot in how I'm going to communicate with people in the future and how to conduct our local county Farm Bureau meetings. They've had a lot of really good insight into what's been working in other counties and different things that we can start implementing to try to get more young people more involved in those meetings.
Anything that I didn't ask you that you want to mention?
Bronya: It was really a great networking opportunity and a great opportunity. The workshops were nice because we had some pretty cool people there speaking and doing those workshops. And the workshops are smaller, more of a tight knit group, and you feel open to asking whatever questions you need to ask. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it to all of the workshops. They were great presentations. I would have loved to go to all of them, but there's three at one time and then three at the next time. So there's something that's going to peak, be of interest for anybody that goes well.
Bronya added the tours on Saturday were great. The tours that were available were:
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LOOK at these great movie ideas from kids. Now I wish I would of written down some of the things my kids came up with!