I have the privilege to be one of the adult advisors to a great group … The Kewaunee County Teen Board …. and tonight is our Teen Board Lock-In and Retreat. There is a wide variety of youth that are involved in this group, some that are involved in agriculture and some that are not, but everyone is respectful and accepting of each other’s opinions, feelings and thoughts. As I watch the youth participate in different team building activities I have realized that many of the adults within our community could learn a lot from these youth.
The youth in the group have learned that their voice is important. They have learned that it is important to make others feel welcomed and respect others feelings and opinions even if those feelings and opinions are different from their own. I am very honored and proud to be a part of this group and am looking forward to seeing what they will accomplish as they move onto the next chapter of their lives.
So what does this have to do with sustainability, especially sustainable agriculture? Sustainability in any field lays with the youth and the young adults that will soon be enrolling in their first college classes or starting their first job, they are the ones that will lead agriculture into the future. One of the youth tonight made a statement when we were talking about why it is important that they use their voices. She said “We can be the catalyst in the community”. She is absolutely right! These youth are the catalyst within our community. They are the ones that will moving agriculture into the future. They are the ones that are going to have to find and implement the new technologies that will improve the sustainability of agriculture.
I get excited every time I hear them talk about where they are heading off to college and their plans for their future. Their optimism is contagious. There is one youth that believe in the future of agriculture as much as I do and isn’t afraid to tell her story and share her experiences in agriculture. She speaks truth and tries to educate about the truth of agriculture.
I have watch these youth go to the State Capital and speak about their experiences in 4H and the importance of 4H in their lives. I have watch as some of them have walked out of the ring with the Grand Champion animal and other go congratulate them for their hard work, even when their animal was not chosen as the Grand Champion. I have watched as they cheer each other on at sporting events, even though they all go to different schools. This group of youth truly are the future leaders of our community and I for one cannot wait. I am hopeful that their enthusiasm and leadership will promote the future of agriculture.
It promises to be an exciting future for agriculture!
Until tomorrow ..