Across the country, the aging of American agriculture is evident as pointed out by the 2012 Census Of Agriculture. Nationally, the average age of the principal farm manager is 58 years old. So, the time is ripe for GenNext Growers to step up and engage with leadership in the ag industry.
In the coming months, the GenNext Growers Network will air a series of webcasts to provide young leaders with professional development advice so they can prepare to take the baton from the previous generation. The first webcast in this series, “The Insider’s View: Working With Lawmakers And Agricultural Associations To Shape A Better Future For Ag,” is now available for viewing online.
Frank Giles, editor of Florida Grower, served as moderator in this discussion with Ben Albritton, Florida District 56 Representative, and Mike Stuart, president of Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, offering:
• Advice to help you successfully express the needs of your business to law and policy makers at home and in Washington
• Insight on the role you can play with your local, state, regional, or national associations and how they can help your farming operation
• Real-world examples that show how critical it is for GenNext Growers to be involved now for a strong future for our industry.
“Nobody’s going to be more important [to a legislator] than a guy who lives in his district,” Stuart says.
About the GenNext Growers Initiative
The GenNext Growers Initiative was founded in 2013 by American Fruit Grower, American Vegetable Grower, and Florida Grower magazines as a cross-produce-industry “umbrella” initiative to help identify, inform and inspire the next generation of growers who:
- Were born after 1970
- Are preparing to assume, or already have assumed, leadership in a farming enterprise
- Have a passion to produce high-quality specialty crops: fruits, vegetables, and citrus
- Seek to be advocates for their industry
The aim of this Initiative is to identify, develop and promote across the industry the best practices of the nation’s most promising up-and-coming specialty crop growers; to help pull together and bring a national voice to the many national, state, and regional young growers programs currently underway; and to ensure a smooth generational transition and the long-term viability of America’s fruit, vegetable and citrus industries.
For more information about the GenNext Growers Initiative, visit www.GenNextGrowers.com, follow the Initiative on Twitter at @GenNextGrowers, visit the GenNext Growers LinkedIn group and at facebook.com/GenNextGrowers.