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Young Farmers Association hosts convention

Students from the Jessamine Career and Technology Center attended the Kentucky Young Farmers Association annual convention March 16-17 in Cadiz.

This year’s topic of discussion was new technology and how it could have the biggest impact on agriculture in Kentucky.

Cameron Edwards, a member of the YFA State Officer team, competed in the Spokesperson for Agriculture contest where he spoke about what he believes the most important new technology will be to help the state’s agriculture.

“Agriculture has faced the difficult task in recent times with reconnecting with its consumer base,” Edwards said. “It was with this in mind that I felt the technological application that could have the greatest potential impact on farming in Kentucky was through the vast social media landscape.

“Farms are beginning to utilize a variety of technologies to tell their own stories of integrity and determination and I believe that through a greater understanding of these tools that agriculture in Kentucky will achieve a connection with its citizens like never before.”

Edwards said lots of work goes into preparing for the convention.

“I usually will consult with agriculture mentors of mine on the topic, often times running my thoughts on the topic by them and getting great feedback in return,” Edwards said.

Edwards grew up in western Kentucky and said he raised quarter horses and tobacco. Although he is no longer working in traditional agriculture, he said agriculture is a wide umbrella that covers many people.

“Agriculture is an all-encompassing industry that touches every single person,” Edwards said.

The adult agriculture education in Kentucky has been suffering from difficult financial times, Edwards said. However, Edwards feels support is essential to its survival.

“I hope the funding for this program remains intact,” Edwards said. “Investing in education opportunities specific to our rural communities is essential. With this program, they are investing not just in the classes, but in this organization and another generation of Kentucky’s rural leaders. It truly is a win-win for the Commonwealth.”

Dexter Knight, principal at Jessamine Career and Technology Center, also believes the agriculture education program is important.

In a prepared statement Knight said, “The ‘return on investment’ is huge compared to the small amount, relatively speaking, invested at the state level for the program.”

For those interested in joining the YFA or participating in agriculture, Edwards said there are many options.

“If you want to learn and you care about agriculture in Kentucky, there’s a place for you in the YFA,” Edwards said. “If you do not want to join an organization, you can still support agriculture online through social media, through engaging with your legislators about the funding needs of agriculture programs for our communities or by helping to spread our stories.”

For more information, contact the Jessamine Career and Technology Center at 859-881-8324.