GFB unveils new Land & Leadership Advocates program
On Dec. 3 during the Georgia Farm Bureau Convention, GFB announced a new program for farmers between the ages of 36 and 60.
Called the Land & Leadership Advocates program, the goal is to meet the needs of the 36-50 age farmer for organizational involvement and leadership development.
“There is a great need in our organization for young leaders aging out of the YF&R program to transition into an opportunity, not only for their personal and professional growth, but for continued leadership growth and succession in our organization,” GFB President Gerald Long said.
A group of farmers in the 36-50 age group met in September to explore possible goals and structure for the new program, facilitated by motivational speaker and leadership trainer Rhett Laubach, who also spoke at the Leadership Program Luncheon for the YF&R and LLA groups during the GFB Convention.
“How can you contribute to the best of your ability?” Laubach said. “Are there obstacles in our way to do this? Absolutely. Are there tough times? Absolutely. No doubt about it. But there are people that have aged out of the Young Farmers & Ranchers, and they still can contribute. If everybody here makes it their personal mission to contribute whatever they can to making this program grow, then Georgia Farm Bureau, Georgia agriculture, the state of Georgia is going to be better because of it. So, go to work.”
LLA is designed to bring together farmers ages 36-50 who have a vested interest in agriculture advocacy, youth and beginning farmer mentorship, providing education about trending ag issues, and further refining and promoting their voice in policy development and regulatory matters.
Key components of the LLA program will include an annual Advocates to D.C. trip, the Advocates Development Conference, district level events, an online web forum for GFB farmer members, and the Land & Leadership Prosperity Award.
On the D.C. trip, the first of which is scheduled for March 2019, participants will meet with American Farm Bureau Federation lobbyists and elected officials, interact with YF&R participants and tour farms in the region surrounding Washington, D.C.
The Advocates Development Conference will be a family-friendly event, with hands-on workshops and new product demonstration, social media and public media training and a group outing. The first one is being planned for February 2020 in Atlanta.
The district events will include educational sessions on new technologies or skill training, as well as a District Farm Experience geared toward adult consumers.
The GFB Farmers Forum will provide an online portal where GFB farmer members can meet, connect, share and discuss all things agriculture, as well as serving as a resource for quick information distribution.
The Land & Leadership Prosperity Award is designed to recognize outstanding farm production, use of innovative technology, awareness and advocacy and Farm Bureau involvement and mentorship.
The LLA program will be led by an Advocates Council consisting of six statewide spots to be filled by individuals or couples, who will serve three-year terms and during which they will be the face of Georgia Agriculture Stories on social media, the Georgia Farm Monitor and the GFB blog. The council will also help facilitate the Advocates Conference.
More details on Land & Leadership Advocates will be released as they become available during 2019.