It has been a couple of weeks since I’ve sat down and posted an item on my blog. After a very hectic February and March doing site visits and producer meetings I took some time off. I spent some of the time painting grandchildren’s bedrooms as one of my daughter’s moved her family to a different home.
While I ached from crawling in closets and along baseboards, it was a lot of fun spending time with 4 of my 5 grandchildren in Sioux Falls for almost 1 week. The optimism of youth can’t be denied. Even when a ‘crisis’ occurs, they soon move forward and tackle the next project with confidence. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘I can do it by my self!’.
As I worked with producers this winter at grower meetings and during site visits, the number of young people in the swine industry was uplifting. They have an optimism and enthusiasm for the challenges of production that is refreshing. Instead of saying ‘it can’t be done’, they are willing to make mistakes as they say ‘why can’t it be done’.
As we look at agriculture in the Midwest, involvement in animal agriculture is the path many youth are taking to have an ownership stake. In swine production, ownership of a contract nursery and/or grower or wean-finish barn is the most obvious means to ownership. I’ve witnessed more than one young person return to a family farming enterprise by this method.
These youth take great pride in their facilities and in the daily care of the pigs in these facilities. They are part of the reason swine productivity in the US is soaring.