A record number of attendees met recently for the annual South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation (SCFB) Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference.

Lexington County residents Marty and Loni Rikard, Bradley and Margo Huggins, Steven and Claudia Long, Kevin and Stephanie Sox, Curt Berry, Alice Winter, and William Amick were among the 300 young farmers and ranchers from across the state who traveled to Charleston 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—everything from ag technology and drones to labor, direct market sales, business planning and ag literacy.

Davis Peeler was elected as the 2017 SCFB Young Farmers and Ranchers Chair. Peeler takes on this role following the leadership of last year’s chair Dean Hutto of Orangeburg County.

“Our Young Farmers and Ranchers program is growing as an increasing number of young people recognize the value of Farm Bureau Federation and its mission to promote agricultural interests in South Carolina,” said Jessica Cabrera, the SCFB Young Farmers and Ranchers Coordinator and Director of Organizational Training and Leadership Development. “We were really excited to host our largest group ever this year, growing in attendance more than 30 percent from last year’s conference.”

The SCFB Young Farmers and Ranchers program is one of many activities sponsored by the South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation. By connecting farmers to the larger community, Farm Bureau cultivates understanding about agriculture’s importance to South Carolina’s local economies. To learn more, log on to www.scfb.org.

Photo:  Lexington County residents (L to R) Marty and Loni Rikard, Bradley and Margo Huggins, Steven and Claudia Long, Kevin and Stephanie Sox, Curt Berry, Alice Winter, and William Amick were among the 300 young farmers and ranchers who traveled to Charleston for the annual SCFB Young Farmer & Rancher Conference January 27-28.