NFU holds 78th All-States Leadership Camp for rural youth

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Farm Forum

WASHINGTON – Young adults from across the country are returning home from Bailey, Colo., where they participated in National Farmers Union’s (NFU) All-States Leadership Camp.

“Our grassroots heritage includes an educational program for young leaders that is more than 75 years old,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “The participants at All-States have gone on to be leaders in agriculture, cooperatives, and rural communities.”

Farmers Union campers come together each summer at the NFU Education Center to take part in cooperative activities and listen to several inspirational speakers. Campers heard from Andrew Jacobs of Co-Bank; Rulon Gardner, Olympic gold and bronze medalist in Greco-Roman Wrestling; and NFU leaders, including immediate past Vice President Claudia Svarstad.

This year’s camp focused on “Farming Means a World of Good,” reflecting the 2014 being declared the International Year of Family Farming by the United Nations. Campers learned to appreciate the cultural and economic value of family farm agriculture in America and worldwide.

“As a former camper, I understand the importance of building leaders in our industry at a young age,” said Johnson. “We are very proud of these young people and the tradition of NFU’s All-States Leadership Camp.”

The campers elected six of their peers to represent them nationwide. The 2014/2015 National Youth Advisory Council (NYAC) includes: Nicollette Bitz, Napoleon, N.D.; RaeLyn Leier, Fargo, N.D.; Chris Nemec, Holabird, S.D.; Tyson Peppler, Colo.; Dayton Trujillo, DeSmet, S.D.; and Lexie Weber, New Rockford, S.D. NYAC duties include representing thousands of Farmers Union youth across the country, including working at the annual NFU Convention. These young Farmers Union leaders also help plan the next year’s NFU All-States Leadership Camp.