Last week, BEEF Daily hosted a giveaway to celebrate the Christmas season. Bob Neese was the winner of the first sweepstakes and took home a set of cowboy-themed notecards for answering the question, "What is the biggest challenge facing the beef industry today?" A few days later, I opened up another sweepstakes for producers to offer solutions to those challenges.
The ideas our fellow cattlemen discussed were incredibly insightful, and I encourage you to check out some of the reader responses here. Today's winner of the sweepstakes is Hope Mammele from Dawson, MN.
On the challenge of the lack of young people in agriculture, Hope writes, "One way to get more young people involved in production agriculture would be to increase the use of mentors in helping get people involved, be it help with finances (we know the pains of getting a loan to start an operation), being there to bounce ideas off of, or help with facilities. My parents also didn’t force us to always be on the farm. They encouraged us to explore other opportunites. That way we didn’t resent the dairy and both of us came back. I left when I got married and started growing the beef operation that we have. I appreciate the background that I came from and that I have the opportunity to talk things over with my parents and they give me their honest opinions and will let me know if my ideas won’t work and why, because they have been there."
Let's expand upon Hope's comments. What solutions can you offer to encouraging and fostering dynamic, sustainable production agriculture careers for young people? Your advice and words of wisdom are incredibly valuable to this forum, and I appreciate your participation. Congratulations again to Hope Mammele on her win!