Case IH is proud to support the National FFA Organization New Century Farmer Conference.
Every July, selected young people from across the United States come to Des Moines, Iowa, for an intensive week of networking, educational presentations and hands-on experiences – all designed to help them Be Ready to be the next generation of farmers and agricultural leaders.
Adam Bettenhausen from Wischek, ND, graduated this spring from North Dakota State University, and now is a third-generation family farmer. He, like other attendees, hoped the conference would help him manage through future uncertainties and challenges, plus introduce him to new technologies that haven’t yet been adopted in his area.
“Excellent speakers covered management and production practices, as well as business and finance topics, including succession planning,” Bettenhausen says. “It was exciting to see firsthand what new products and technologies are coming and discuss how we might benefit from them.”
Case IH hosted a dinner for the participants at the Case IH Training Center in Nevada, Iowa, and presented on new technologies in farm machinery.
“The Case IH ‘Principles of Water Management’ presentation was very relevant,” Bettenhausen says. “We learned how to determine where the compaction layer is within the soil so we can properly set tillage equipment at the right depth to help plant growth through the season.”
He adds: “The ‘Advanced Farming System’ presentation exposed us to what is coming in terms of precision technology, how it works and how to be prepared for it.”
Jared Crain, of Woodward, Okla., participated in the alumni track of the New Century Farmer program. Crain currently is pursuing a PhD in crop breeding and genetics at Kansas State University. The alumni track is for previous participants who are interested in a refresher and value the networking experience.
“The conference gave a broad picture of agriculture and taught us how to be prepared in the future,” Crain explains. “It was a unique opportunity to learn from and interact with specialists and industry professionals. It was great to interact with peers who have the same interests and are dealing with some of the same obstacles of trying to get established in production agriculture.”
I invite you to learn more about the students’ experiences on the National FFA blog. Better yet, encourage a young person interested in production agriculture to apply for next year’s conference. Applications typically are due in March.
Have you attended a New Century Farmer Conference? Tell us about your experience. What did you learn? We’d love to hear from you!