Recruiting the next generation of the ag industry
NORFOLK, Neb. -- Two organizations in Norfolk collaborated to host the annual FFA Farm Day throughout Friday.
In celebration of National Agriculture Week, the Norfolk FFA and Lutheran High Northeast FFA hosted the farm day and invited kindergarten classes from the area to come experience life on the farm.
Over 400 students and 130 parents attended the farm day held at the Northeast Community College’s Chuck Pohlman Ag Complex during the morning and the afternoon.
Norfolk FFA member Myranda Hansen said even though she grew up on a farm, it was when she joined the organization that her interest in the industry really started to blossom.
“Being able to join FFA was just that thing that I needed to spark my interest in pursuing a career in agriculture,” said Hansen.
There’s challenges to joining any industry these days and the agriculture industry is no different. Hansen said the current obstacle she wants to face head on is the education surrounding the industry.
“A lot of the younger generation doesn’t really know a lot about agriculture,” she added. “I think educating the younger generation would really help us so that we get some new members.”
According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s 2017 Farm Census, the average American farmer is 57.5 years old. Hansen said it’s critical to get students involved early in the industry so the U.S. can see a rise in younger farmers in the near future.
“I think that groups like FFA and 4H are really vital because they have the members that are interested in it,” she said. “We also reach the audiences that may not know much about agriculture, and we help educate them.”
Over 30 FFA students brought their farm knowledge and experiences to share with the students who attended the event.