The future leaders of production agriculture met in Des Moines, Iowa, the last week in July for the National FFA Organization New Century Farmer Conference. Forty-nine young people from across the U.S. participated in personal and professional development workshops, while networking with agriculture industry professionals.
In our quest to prepare this new generation of farmers “Be Ready” and embrace agriculture’s challenges and opportunities, Case IH helped sponsor the event. We hosted a dinner for the participants at the Case IH Training Center in Nevada, Iowa, and presented on new and technologies in farm machinery.
While there, we met up with one of the participants, Nancy Jackson, from New Cambria, Mo., and asked her to share her insights with us on the conference and the future of the agriculture industry. Nancy grew up on a dairy farm, and also raises beef cattle and club lambs. She is a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she’s double-majoring in Agribusiness Management and Animal Science. At college, Nancy serves as Dairy Chair for Block & Bridle, Professional Development Chair of the Dairy Club, and is a member of the Sigma Alpha agricultural sorority.
Q: What were some of the conference highlights?
A: It was really inspiring to listen to my peers’ visions about their future in agriculture. The motivating speakers encouraged us to embrace the change that’s happening in the agriculture industry. I personally enjoyed hearing about the new and innovative technologies Case IH is incorporating into their equipment.
Q: What were some of the Case IH highlights?
A: There were so many! We got to do a walk-around of the Case IH Magnum and Steiger tractors to learn about the tractors’ new features and how they are equipped with Selective Catalytic Reduction technologies to comply with new emissions regulations. We also had the opportunity to see a demonstration of these tractors running on a dynamometer to see how the tractors performed at their rated and PTO horsepower levels and their fuel consumption. (Editor’s Note: A dynamometer is a device used for measuring force, torque, and/or power in vehicles and equipment.) We got to learn about the Multi-Function Armrest and the different functions it can do, such as speeding up or slowing down, changing gears, forward or reverse, and others. I was also amazed at the amount of information that can be captured using the AFS system – from fuel rates, to the number of acres covered, to application rates. We also got to race using Case IH Farmall 45A tractors with utility backhoe attachments to put basketballs into a container.
Q: What do you feel is the biggest challenge facing the agriculture industry today?
A: I feel the biggest challenge is having the financial resources to live and work on a farm and not have to get a job off the farm. Finding available land for expanding the farm is also a big issue. Finally, dealing with all the regulations that are brought on by extreme animal activist groups and educating people about agriculture are also big challenges.
Q: Any last thoughts?
A: I really appreciated the experience of learning about agriculture from some of the industry’s leading companies, like Case IH, Pioneer, Rabo AgriFinance, and CSX Corporation. I’m glad to know that they support my continued involvement in agriculture.
Case IH is a proud sponsor of the FFA New Century Farmer Conference. You can find out more about the conference at FFA.org of their site or on Facebook.