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Younger farmers from Delaware traveled to Omaha, NE recently to meet with others from across the country and share their love of agriculture.

The role of the Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Conference, hosted by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), “. . .is to surface, grow and develop young Farm Bureau members and provide them opportunities and experiences to strengthen their leadership and ensure effective Farm Bureaus,” according to AFBF.

Sixteen YF&R Committee members from the First State attended the conference this year, bringing home new skills and insight to utilize on their own farms and advocacy efforts.

“This conference is especially important because we learn things about agriculture from different parts of the country and bring it back to Delaware to use within our own farms and community,” Houston resident and Statewide YF&R Chair Mollie Lynch said.

Lynch attended the conference with her husband, Kent County YF&R Chair Michael Lynch, and their baby daughter Eleanor. Other conference goers from the Delaware YF&R Committee included Abel Elwell of Middletown, Casey Collier and Jodan Betts of Milton, Adam Collier of Harrington, Will and Ariel Powers of Townsend, Nathan Thompson of Hartly, JT Robbins of Harrington, Paul William Saathoff of Denton, Connor Vincent of Laurel, Hannah O’Hara of Milford, Alex and Kourtney Keenan of Smyrna, and AJ Alexander of Felton.

Each attendee had the opportunity to sit in on a variety of sessions throughout the four-day-long conference. They were also able to participate in farm tours and visit nearby area farms and engage in sightseeing activities. Lynch said her biggest takeaway from the conference, though, came from a speech given by AFBF President Zippy DuVall.

“He gave a speech about being involved in your county more so than anything because that’s where your community is at and that’s who you directly affect. That was very powerful to me,” she said. “We want to reach them more via direct marketing and getting food directly to the consumer, but we also want to educate the community on where their food comes from so they’re more cautious when they see farmers out on the road and more conscious about where they spend their money and things of that nature.”

Other sessions during the conference included topics on time management, financing and getting started with new ventures to name a few. Attendees also had the chance to complete a service project by helping pack 4,000 meals to benefit hungry families in Omaha.

Interested in supporting the Delaware’s YF&R Committee? On Saturday, May 25, the Delaware YF&R will be hosting its annual Strawberry Festival at Bobola Farm & Florist in Dover to help raise funds for their future events and for their scholarship program. For more about the Delaware Farm Bureau or the YF&R, visit or call the state office at 302-697-3183.

Post Author: Mikayla Paul

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