McCormick, S.C. – Andrew Jewel and Matthew Burns, of Laurens County, were among thirty-six rising high school juniors and seniors from across South Carolina who recently participated in the South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation’s (SCFB) 2021 Youth Leadership Conference at the Governor’s School for Agriculture at John de la Howe in McCormick.
The conference, held July 25-28, allowed students to gain valuable leadership skills and a better understanding of SC agriculture and the South Carolina legislative process. Students were addressed by industry professionals on leadership, team building and goal setting.
“The Youth Leadership Conference, sponsored by our SCFB Women’s Leadership program, allows students to explore opportunities within agriculture while developing their skills to be leaders in the industry,” said Elizabeth Wood, SCFB Director of Agricultural Literacy, Women and Youth Programs.
2020 SCFB Youth Ambassador Christle Tindall said, “The SCFB Youth Leadership Conference is unlike any other summer camp. Students from all across the state gather to develop leadership skills, further their knowledge in agricultural topics and grow their network with industry professionals. I’ve had the opportunity to serve as a counselor for the past three summers and this year’s camp was an outstanding group of students. I look forward to seeing them all accomplish great things in their future.”
Participants watched the film Field of Dreams and used lessons from the movie to draw comparisons to leadership opportunities in their own lives. They constructed wildlife scent stations, identified various cuts of meat, created animal identification tags and tasted cheeses. Students interviewed SCFB staff and learned ways each department helps the agricultural community. The Aiken, Newberry and McCormick County Young Farmers and Ranchers also hosted an Ag Olympics competition.
“South Carolina’s agricultural industry is a vital part of the state’s economy,” SCFB President Harry Ott said. “We advocate so our children and grandchildren can farm long after we are gone. Educating our youth on opportunities available to them within the agriculture industry is the first step in involving students so they can have a lasting voice in today’s issues.”
SCFB is a grassroots, non-profit organization that celebrates and supports family farmers, locally grown food and our rural lands through legislative advocacy, education and community outreach. The organization, founded in 1944, serves nearly 90,000 member families in 47 chapters. For more information about youth programs and scholarship opportunities, contact Elizabeth Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org.