Ag business students gain experience at state and national conventions

(04-07-2014)

zena buser, Lane Cox, Cody Johnson, Tyler Haney

Adams State University agricultural business students Lane Cox, Cody Johnson, and Tyler Haney attended the state Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers discussion meet in Denver last November and the national conference in Virginia Beach this February.

"I am proud of each of them and feel we, as an institution and community, were represented well at these events," said Zena Buser, Adams State associate professor of business.

Cox and Johnson will graduate this May. Johnson said he formed the Adams State collegiate chapter of the Farm Bureau last year. Currently the chapter has ten members. He appreciates the local Farm Bureau agencies, including Alamosa, Rio Grande, and Conejos, who assisted financially with their travels and provided matching shirts for the students and Buser, who traveled with them.

The state convention met for three days. During that time the students were able to sit in on policy making discussions and Johnson and Haney competed in the discussion meet. "The most current big issue that policy makers are discussing is whether or not products have to be labeled if they contain GMO," Cox said.

"Agriculture policies affect everyone," Johnson said. "Often those making the policies and laws have no experience or clue about agriculture."

At the national conference, the four days were spent in leadership training workshops, touring local attractions, including the aqua agriculture, and networking with other agriculture business students. "We had a blast," Johnson said. "There were great speakers and seminars, we toured the Chesapeake Bay area, and the hotel was located on the beach by the ocean."

Lane said the national conference is geared toward the collegiate level. "We met people from Russia, Canada, and Japan. It was interesting to hear all the perspectives."

They both agreed the biggest challenges for agriculture, around the world, are water and GMOs. "Agriculture education is of big importance to the Farm Bureau. To help people understand the facts and issues around farming and ranching."