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Kyle Rasch on strengthening Ottawa’s Young Farmer program

Sixth-generation apple grower Kyle Rasch is challenging himself and his peers to make the most of Ottawa County’s Young Farmer program.
Date Posted: November 8, 2022

Working on his family’s sixth-generation apple farm drew Kyle Rasch back to farming, but he couldn’t have imagined it would lead to co-chairing Ottawa County’s Young Farmer program, a position he’s held for a few years now.

By the time he was first approached about the opportunity, Rasch was already familiar with the networking opportunities the Young Farmer program provided. Eager to maximize those opportunities — for himself and his peers — and feeling ready to up his involvement game, he accepted.

“Ottawa is really diverse and there are a lot of Young Farmers involved in a lot of different aspects of the ag community,” Rasch said. “I enjoy that part and being able to network with people who may not be in the same part of the industry as I am.”

As co-chair, his first order of business was to increase attendance at events like Ottawa’s euchre and cornhole tournaments, sporting events next door in Grand Rapids — and boosting general interest in the Young Farmer program.

Now that they have the numbers, their focus is on encouraging more serious involvement. Ottawa’s Young Farmers all excel in their agricultural niches, but Rasch looks forward to pushing them out of their comfort zones and toward events like Discussion Meets, Young Farmer Leaders Conference and MFB’s State Annual Meeting.

County chairs like Rasch are vital to promoting and bolstering Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer program, which strives to serve the needs of farmers ages 18-35 through leadership development and expanding members’ understanding of the organization’s purpose.

Young Farmers interested in getting involved are encouraged to contact their county Farm Bureau office.

This is the second installment in a series looking at the accomplishments of county Farm Bureau Young Farmer chairs; look for more in upcoming issues of Farm Gate.

Megan Lopresto is currently interning with MFB’s Center for Education and Leadership Development.

Media Contacts
Megan Sprague headshot

Megan Sprague

Young Farmer Programs Specialist
517-679-5658 [email protected]

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