Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Agriculture and Generations

In agriculture always talk of and promote the generational farming or ranching. I have friends who have said they are fourth, fifth or even sixth generation farmers or ranchers.

In the Farm Bureau world, we have just finished up the county annual meetings and are now working towards the state annual meeting. This year I was struck by how much Farm Bureau, Cattle Growers, Cotton Growers or what ever organization can also have generational involvement.

Marvin and Myrle accepting the Heritage Award for the Marlatt Family
In Yuma, the county recognized a family for their Heritage Award. This award is for long term service to Farm Bureau. The family had the father serving as a member of the board and officer for decades and he even was a state vice president then he continued to serve the county as president as well. He has since passed away but his sons, who I work with now serve on the county board and have served as county president or other offices. One of the grandsons is also involved and part of the county board. In talking with them, I  asked why they were members and their response was it was part of who our family is. Mom and and Dad were involved and it was expected of us as well. They have two other brothers who followed along in the civic service in several organizations that their father served in besides Farm Bureau. 

Jay Larson recognizing Arden Palmer for his service to Farm Bureau
This thought of generational involvement in organizations was reiterated to me again when I was in Graham County for their county annual meeting and the current president recognized a former county leader for his Heritage Award. This recipient had served the county Farm Bureau in the late 50's and early 60's and then went on to serve in other community groups and his church. What moved me was that his children are involved and serving their community because of the example he gave. One is currently a county board of supervisor and I don't even know what the rest of his children have done but I can tell you that a few of his grandsons have served on the county board over the years and possibly some of his children. His son-in-law was the county president when I started working in the field and really showed me how to be a good field person. And one of his grandsons and is currently the county president- following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. It was the grandson recognizing the grandfather for his service to agriculture and the county.

These were just two examples of counties that have generational involvement. Most of my counties have uncles, nieces  nephews  sons and daughters serving together and they aren't unique. I'm sure there are many counties in every state that generations serving together.

 At Farm Bureau, working with members daily, results in many of them becoming like family and as a staff person you cheer them on when they or their family does something great and you pray for them when they are hurting or struggling. And I am very fortunate because I get the opportunity in many cases to work with both the parent and children who are farming and ranching together and serving their community together. If I stay long enough, I may even be privileged to work with the third generation at Farm Bureau and see them become the next officer or board member.