Three Idaho farmers have been chosen to serve on American Farm Bureau Federation committees.
AFBF represents farmers and ranchers across the U.S. It works with state Farm Bureau organizations to protect producers’ rights, educate people about agriculture and promote the industry.
The Idaho Farm Bureau said in a release that Alan Clark of the Rigby area and Kyle and Jessica Wade of Downey will serve two-year terms on AFBF committees starting in March.
Clark is a fifth-generation farmer and rancher. He has 500 beef cows and farms 1,500 acres of hay, barley and wheat. He was selected to serve on AFBF’s 10-member Promotion and Education Committee.
“It’s super important to promote agriculture and educate people about the industry and where their food comes from,” he said. “If we as farmers and ranchers don’t tell our story and promote our industry, people who don’t know anything about agriculture will tell the story and they will get it wrong.”
Clark also chairs IFBF’s Promotion and Education Committee, which is entering its second year. “I hope to take what I learn from the AFBF P&E Committee and use that to help our program succeed,” he said.
The Wades have a custom cattle grazing, feeding and calving operation. They were selected to serve on AFBF’s 16-member Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee.
IFBF said national and state YF&R programs aim to help develop the next generation of leaders in the ag industry by offering them opportunities to network as well as to sharpen public-speaking and problem-solving skills during competitions and other events.
Jessica Wade said she and Kyle aim to help bridge the gap between FFA membership and the Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Program, open to producers ages 18-35.
They plan to reach out to more FFA members to let them know the YF&R opportunity is available immediately. Jessica Wade said many people are about 30 when they get involved, which “doesn’t give them very much time to be in the YF&R program and gain leadership skills.”
“We have benefited in a big way from Idaho Farm Bureau’s YF&R program,” she said. “We have changed our operation because of things we learned through the program, and it’s helped us in so many ways. We want people to be able to experience that starting from age 18.”
“Idaho may be famous for our potatoes, but it’s the people that make our products famous and we are excited to share more of them with the nation,” IFBF CEO Zak Miller said.
“Continuing to engage with consumers to build trust and share the story of agriculture is an important part of national program committee work,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said. “We applaud the commitment of these newly appointed Farm Bureau members.”