This past Saturday, I was a guest speaker at the Women in Blue Jeans Conference in Mitchell, SD. If you have never heard of this event, it's a three-day convention held exclusively for women in agriculture. Featured speakers range in topics like, "Hair on the Go," "Hazards on the Farm," "Renting Your Land After Retirement," and "Being Good Ranching Parents." Obviously, the topics at this event fit the needs and interests of women at any age, and the $40 registration fee is a very attractive price for a conference/girls' getaway.
Anyway, my speech was titled, "Back to the Farm After College," and I discussed the challenges and obstacles young people face after graduation. There is a very strong tug between staying in rural agriculture and pursuing a career in the big city, and I discussed the pros and cons of both decisions. I identified the top 10 issues that face multi-generational farming operations, and I also provided five tools for young people to utilize if they choose to stay in production agriculture. If you are interested in seeing the powerpoint notes or listening to this speech for yourself, please contact me via email or the comments section.
At the end of the day, it was interesting to see the women share their experiences. Some had children that returned home right after college, others left the ranch for a few years before realizing where they really wanted to be and even more were undecided about how their futures were going to pan out. So, the big question of the day is...what is your next generation going to do? Will they be back to the farm in two years or 20 years? Are they off to the big city, or are they coming home after graduation? Let me hear your story. The secret to success in this industry is to ask questions and compare notes. So, let's get talking, folks!