Shannon Copeland, Erie County
Tell us about your experience in agriculture.
I grew up on a farm where we raised beef cattle, dairy heifers, Boer goats and horses. I was extremely active with 4-H and FFA growing up. I also served as the Pennsylvania FFA State Secretary for the 2012-2013 State Officer Team. Getting involved in 4-H and FFA was natural. Being involved in those organizations teaches you about responsibility and respect. I am currently working as a crop loss adjuster for Diversified Crop Insurance Services. With this job, I work with farmers measuring bins, wagons and fields. I take care of replants, prevented planting and harvest claims.
What do you like most about your job?
What I love most about my job is working in the fields and dealing with the crops. I love the fact that I get to work with farmers and help them. I spend about 50 percent of my time in the field and the rest in the office. I like that balance. When I was finishing my time as a state officer, I had planned on going to college, but I was invited to interview for a crop adjuster job. I didn’t think I would get it because I didn’t have a college degree. I got the job and I’m working hard to prove myself.
Tell us about your time as a member of the Pennsylvania FFA State Team.
As a state officer, you develop who you truly are and who you want to be. I was such a shy person going into that experience. I had the chance to serve the state and our members and made so many memories in the process. It’s hard to put into words how special the time was and the common bond we all have as FFA members. They are each leaders in some way, even the shy ones in the back of the class. They are all taking a leadership step.
You are involved in the PFB's Young Farmer & Rancher Committee. Why do you think it's important for young farmers to be involved in an organization like Farm Bureau?
I haven’t been a member of the YF&R committee very long but I love how we are all in different areas of agriculture and come together to make events a success and to have fun. I believe that young farmers should be involved in an organization like Farm Bureau because it helps young men and women take advantage of the opportunities and overcome the challenges in the agriculture industry by becoming stronger leaders and more dynamic voices in their local communities.
Are you optimistic about the future of agriculture?
Yes I truly do believe in the future of agriculture. Without agriculture there would be no food and we all would be left "naked and hungry!” It’s tough to imagine a future without a vital agriculture community in our country. We are growing as a nation and we are developing technology to help farmers meet those new challenges.
Lastly, why are you a Farm Bureau member?
I’m a Farm Bureau member because it is a family organization. Throughout the years, my family and I can continue to grow with the organization.