SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Four young panelists talked with farmers and industry leaders at the 2019 Governor’s Agricultural Summit today. KELOLAND’s Whitney Fowkes sat in on the discussion to see what lies ahead for the future of agriculture.
“I think anytime you get a chance to listen to a panel discussion made up of four outstanding young panelists such as those, you come away with a great feeling about how bright the future is for agriculture not only for South Dakota, but the United States,” SD Wheat Commission Executive Director, Reid Christopherson, said.
South Dakotans are sharing their ideas with Governor Kristi Noem and a panel of millennials.
“Just kind of shed some light on some of the things that young people in agriculture are facing in today’s world, and that was I guess my main goal of this panel,”Panelist, Logan Wolter, said.
“We talked about finances, it costs a lot to buy land, machinery and equipment to get into a business. And also just needing mentors, they really need someone to help connect them to people who have the wisdom and insight that they need to take a risk on starting a new business or operation, and then how we can tell the story of agriculture more,” Kristi Noem said.
Another key point that the panel discussed was modern technology. These younger farmers say that their generation is willing to lend a hand in that aspect and would love to gain some wisdom from the older generations in other ways.
“The technology they’ve grown up with, its apart of their life, and the very warm offer on their part to help out my generation that maybe continues to struggle with that and how we can incorporate those things into production agriculture into agribusiness,” Reid Christopherson said.
But with recent weather, today’s farmers continue to struggle. Noem says certain things need to be done to make sure the ag industry remains successful.
“Continuing to advocate for good trade policy, open up new markets for agriculture, making sure we have good federal policy that gives us a safety net is incredibly important,” Kristi Noem said.
Logan Wolter has this advice.
“For young people out there, just continue to work hard and if you have a passion for agriculture, keep your head up and keep marching forward,” Logan Wolter said.
Noem says her hope for this discussion was that industry leaders left with an action plan for the future of agriculture.