MOUNT OLIVE - Four Mount Olive College students attended the American Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan in early February. Edward Olive, Brian Carter, Larry Edwards and Hannah Singleton travelled to Michigan to meet with other Young Farmers and Ranchers, ages 18-35, from across the nation to discuss the future of the agricultural industry. The group attended workshops that focused on various agricultural topics including educating young children about agriculture, being active in Young Farmers & Ranchers at the collegiate level and several ways to improve agricultural operations in a changing world.
“Agriculture is an ever-changing industry and requires constant adaptation by farmers, ranchers and agriculturists to succeed in producing a safe, affordable food supply,” stated Edward Olive, a senior in agriculture education from Benson and chairman of Mount Olive College’s Young Farmer and Rancher Committee. “This conference really makes you keenly aware of the challenges.”
The NC Farm Bureau Federation hosted a dinner which allowed collegiate members and young farmers from across North Carolina and Idaho to interact and discuss how the agricultural industry differs in the two regions. “This was a great opportunity to gain new perspectives on agriculture in other parts of the United States,” commented Larry Edwards, a senior in agriculture education from Roseboro. “While we recognized and commented on differences between the two regions with regard to agriculture, there were a number of similarities as well when we discussed agricultural issues.”
Brian Carter, a junior in agriculture education from Clinton expressed, “ I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet people involved in agriculture from other areas of the country and to have the opportunity to see agriculture that is different from what we see in North Carolina.”
The Mount Olive College students were given the opportunity to experience Michigan agriculture first hand visiting a company that builds fiberglass blades for wind turbines that are used to produce renewable energy and a soybean processing facility that processes soybeans for use in food service and livestock feeds. “Our last stop on the tour was a vineyard and we learned a great deal about the impact of the grape industry on Michigan’s economy. We really appreciate Farm Bureau in both Wayne and Sampson counties for supporting us to make this trip. It was one I will never forget,” stated Hannah Singleton, a sophomore in Agriculture Education from Goldsboro.
Mount Olive College is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The College, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Goldsboro, Research Triangle Park, Washington and Jacksonville. For more information, visit www.moc.edu.