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Young Farmers and Ranchers Gather in Columbus

LINCOLN, NEB. – Registration is open for the 2019 Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) Conference, Feb. 8-9 at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center in Columbus. The conference theme is “Growing for Tomorrow” and is presented by Nebraska Farm Bureau and Aurora Cooperative.

“More than 200 young farmers, ranchers, and agribusiness professionals will gain valuable insights into agriculture trends, career opportunities, and knowledge on leading issues facing farmers and ranchers in Nebraska,” said Audrey Schipporeit, director of generational engagement, Jan. 24. “This is a great way for young farmers and ranchers in Nebraska to network and share ideas. The conference offers local tours, innovative breakout sessions, a discussion meet contest, and entertainment.”

The conference begins Feb. 8 with tours of local agribusinesses, including stops at: Pillen Family Farms, Jindra Angus, Duo Lift®, and Behlen. Tour stops are subject to change.

This conference is the start of the YF&R Discussion Meet that qualifies a young farmer or rancher to represent Nebraska at the 2020 American Farm Bureau Federation Discussion Meet. The Discussion Meet is a 25-30 minute competition that simulates a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each participant. This competition is evaluated on an exchange of ideas and information on a pre-determined topic. Participants build basic discussion skills, develop a keen understanding of important agricultural issues, and explore how groups can pool knowledge to reach consensus and solve problems.

The keynote speaker is Matt Lohr. Lohr was raised on a century farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and developed a passion for farming, working hard, and serving others at a very early age. Matt shares the story of his late wife, Andrea who passed away from breast cancer at the young age of 36. Throughout her journey, she lived in a way that inspired others, glorified God, and showed how life was meant to be embraced. Attendees will leave the session inspired to love others, embrace this precious time on earth, and leave an amazing legacy for all those who follow.

Breakout sessions on Sat., Feb. 9 will cover topics including soil health, family dynamics in farming, tips for successful careers, improving your cow heard, health, growing hops, GMO’s, equipment, and farm policy. 

For more information and to register visit Registration includes a t-shirt, all meals, entertainment, tours, and breakout sessions. Registrants will be responsible for making their own hotel reservation and you do not have to be a Farm Bureau member to attend.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau is a grassroots, state-wide organization dedicated to supporting farm and ranch families and working for the benefit of all Nebraskans through a wide variety of educational, service and advocacy efforts. More than 61,000 families across Nebraska are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve rural and urban prosperity as agriculture is a key fuel to Nebraska’s economy. For more information about Nebraska Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit

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