If you are under 40, get involved.
Dr. Flinchbaugh put a simple formula up: profit = price x yield – costs.
His question was, what part of this formula is not influenced by politics, policies or regulations?
The way farmers and ranchers have any say is through the wheat, corn, milo, soybeans, livestock associations and other farm and ranch groups.
These associations need younger farmers and ranchers to get involved in them. I was just at a farm group’s national meeting. They seated eight directors. All but two were 65 and over.
If you want to complain about government intrusion, you need to be involved in groups that can have dialogues with those making the decisions affecting you.
I spent most of my time for 15 years on wheat issues.
In the mid-1980s, I had proposed some language for Kansas Association of Wheat Growers resolutions that eventually ended as language coming out of Washington, D.C. That encouraged me to be involved in KAWG and have a chance of a small influence on issues facing ag.
The people who are on these boards tend to be involved in more than one organization. I found out that as an individual, we need someone else to hear our ideas and help smooth and firm them into better ideas.
If you want to work your way into leadership, my advice is show up. See and be heard at the meetings. If you are not involved, don’t complain.
Steve Clanton says he’s a “has-been.” He has been president of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers; has served on the board of 21st Century Grain Processors Co-op, which is now sold; and has served on the Kansas Wheat and Kansas Soybean Commissions. Clanton also has been on the school board, NRCS board, extension board and North Central Farm Management board. He farms 3,100 acres of soybeans, milo and wheat, as well as some corn and sunflowers, in Ottawa County.