Young Farmers & Ranchers Program
The Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) program in Pennsylvania includes both men and women between the ages of 18-35. The objective of the Young Farmers & Ranchers program is to provide leadership in building a more effective Farm Bureau to preserve our individual freedoms and expand our opportunities in agriculture.
YF&R members from across the state gather during Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s (PFB) State Annual Meeting in November to participate in state level contests, farm related breakout sessions and guide the future of the organization on the Delegate Floor. During Annual Meeting, the State YF&R Committee hosts their Annual YF&R Auction; items are provided by County Farm Bureau’s to raise money for the upcoming year of YF&R activities. During State Annual Meeting, Young Farmers can participate in five State Level Contests: Achievement Award, Excellence in Agriculture, Discussion Meet and Social Media Video (state contest only) and the Collegiate Discussion Meet. All contest winners receive special prizes, varying annually, from our sponsors. The state winners of these contests then receive an expense paid trip to AFBF’s National Annual Convention, whose location varies each year, to participate in the National Level Contests. All national contest winners receive prizes, including but not limited to: 1-yr lease of GM truck, extended use of CASE IH tractor, STHIL prize pack and much more.
PFB’s YF&R Committee hosts a year-long challenge to all PA Farm Bureau members. The program, in partnership with Feeding America, titled Harvest for All, supports three types of donations to your local food banks: food, time and money. As Pennsylvania’s “first harvesters,” it is our duty to donate what we can, when we can in an effort to create a hunger-free America. The PA YF&R Committee hosts several events to benefit the Harvest for All program including: Silent Auctions at State Annual Meeting and at PA YF&R Leadership Conference, Special T-Shirts sold at various events, and the PA YF&R Committee Field Gleaning before the State Annual Picnic.
Before the ground thaws and seeds are planted, PA hosts its own State YF&R Leadership Conference. The goal of this conference is to help new young farmers, and new Farm Bureau members, establish their place on their farms and in Farm Bureau. The conference offers breakout sessions for commodity's, leadership, retirement/transition planning and financial planning. County Farm Bureau’s sponsor participants to attend the conference.
Near the end of July, a retiring PA YF&R Committee member hosts the State YF&R Annual Picnic. The picnic, more casual than the leadership conference, is meant to give busy farmers a break from their summer work for food, fun and fellowship with other farmers. The picnic often offers farm tours, industry tours, kids' activities, and a plethora of delicious “picnic” food!