Bridging ag opportunities: S.C. Young Farmers and Ranchers gather for annual conference | Agriculture

CHARLESTON – Over 300 young farmers, ranchers and ag enthusiasts ages 18-35 years old met recently for the annual South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference in Charleston.

Members from across the state gathered to network, become better leaders in their communities and learn how to overcome challenges within the agriculture industry.

Conference attendees had the opportunity to listen to a wide variety of speakers on topics addressing all aspects of agriculture — including direct marketing, animal agriculture, farm safety, women’s leadership and advocacy.

“We were excited to host young farmers and ranchers from across the state at our annual conference this past weekend,” said newly elected SCFB YF&R Chair Adrian Wilkes (Fairfield). “This conference is special because it brings together professionals from every sector of ag in our state to allow us to work together for the betterment of the future of agriculture and related industries. I look forward to working with this fine group of people as we continue to strive to have some of the best food and fiber in the world come from the great state of South Carolina.”

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Wilkes was elected the SCFB YF&R chair at the SCFB Annual Meeting in December and will serve his term throughout 2022 leading the program to follow SCFB’s mission and goals.

Cadie Giba of McCormick County won the 2022 Young Farmers and Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture Award. The competition consists of a written application and an oral presentation in front of a panel of judges. Giba won $500 cash, $7,000 towards the purchase of a new ATV compliments of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, and has the opportunity to represent South Carolina Farm Bureau on trips to the 2022 American Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, and the 2023 American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico.


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The Excellence in Agriculture Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who do not derive the majority of their income from an owned agricultural operation, but who actively contribute to agriculture and Farm Bureau. Award prizes are compliments of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company, and South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation.

Rachael Sharp of Allendale County won the 2022 Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award. Rachael was awarded $1,000 compliments of the Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company, $33,750 towards the purchase of a new Ford truck and has the opportunity to represent South Carolina Farm Bureau on trips to the 2022 American Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Conference in Louisville, Kentucky and the 2023 American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico.


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The Achievement Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who derive the majority of their income from an owned agricultural operation and have excelled in their farming or ranching operations while exhibiting superior leadership abilities. Participants are evaluated on a combination of their agricultural operation’s growth and financial progress, Farm Bureau leadership and leadership outside of Farm Bureau. Award prizes are compliments of Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company, Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation and Ford.

Darlington County Farm Bureau chapter received the award for the Largest County Delegation, boasting 24 young farmers and ranchers in attendance at the conference.

Attendees from Orangeburg County included: Wesley McKeowen, Lacey McKeowen, Sara Hutto, Kayla Shuler, Christle Tindall, Zane Clardy and Holly Clardy.


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Plans are already underway for the 2023 Young Farmers and Ranchers conference scheduled for Feb. 3-5, 2022, in Greenville.

For more information about Young Farmers and Ranchers and to learn how to get involved, contact Heather Barberio at [email protected]

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