By Barb Baylor Anderson, Anderson & Associates
Professional improvement and networking are great reasons to attend AMS. Being able to get a story while you are there is icing on the cake! That’s why the AMS Program Committee likes to put together newsmakers panels with universal appeal. And this session is apt to have an angle for any attending journalist.
It is no secret agriculture evolves at warp speed. But what is not always evident are the many ways farmers and ranchers approach change to remain profitably in business. Farmers and ranchers must be resilient to be successful, and this session will offer up examples and solutions of ways to get the job of managing change done.
A consultant/farmer and two other producers who have found ways to adapt to climate, production and marketing changes will present solutions others might apply.
Laura Lengnick with Cultivating Resilience has spent three decades looking at ways to sustain agriculture and the food system as a federal researcher, policymaker, college educator, community activist and farmer. She will share how she combines practical field lessons with climate science and resilience theory to develop workable strategies.
Russ Zenner, with Zenner Family Farm in Genesee, Idaho, will talk about his shift to value-added crop marketing to build business. Zenner is a Shepherd’s Grain grower who looks for opportunities in the food business based on the environmental benefit of the production system. He has a 100% direct seed cropping system that he says has not only improved soil organic matter and nearly eliminated erosion, but also improved the nutrient density of the value-added crops produced for a specific food market.
Finally, Luke Crawford, a young, fifth-generation Arenzville, Ill., farmer, will share his experiences of coming back to the family farm and making changes to accommodate his return. Crawford grows corn and soybeans with his father and recently began raising 5,000 hogs annually to spread risk and increase the number of farm income streams.
The session will be moderated by Illinois freelancer Laura Temple.
Come capture an angle for your readers and explore other story ideas with these panelists. This session will take place at 8:30 a.m. on Monday.