Feb. 13, 2015
More than 35 Florida young farmers and ranchers will spend Valentines’ Day weekend in Nashville for the 2015 FUSION (Farmers United: Skills, Inspiration, Outreach and Networking) conference, Feb. 13-17. The interactive leadership conference will unite more than 1,300 volunteer leaders from around the country to connect and share experiences with other agricultural leaders and experts.
The FUSION conference is held by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF). It provides attendees with a weekend of interactive workshops, motivational speakers, competitive events and tours of local agricultural operations.
“We are excited to send our Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Group to this first-time conference,” said assistant director of member services Michael Rogalsky. “They will be able to learn everything from media relations and obtaining rural grants to financial planning and agricultural advocacy. It’s about giving them the tools to become better ambassadors for agriculture.”
The conference brings together three different Farm Bureau volunteer groups from across the nation including, the Young Farmers & Ranchers, Promotions and Education and Women’s Leadership committees.
Ginny Paarlberg, a perennial peanut and sod farm producer in Madison County, and chair of the Florida Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee, will be one of six Florida women attending the conference. “This is the first year the conference has united with the other committees,” said Paarlberg. “We look forward to interacting and sharing ideas with the different committee members so that we can be even stronger leaders in our state.”
In addition to sessions and tours, the FUSION Conference will host the AFBF Collegiate Discussion Meet. The event gives college students an opportunity to compete for scholarships. Two University of Florida students, Clay Sapp and Elise Stoddard will compete in the national event.
For more information on the FUSION conference, visit http://www.fb.org/index.php?action=programs.yfr.leaderconf.