Watertown, SD – South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Walt Bones targeted young people who want to stay on the family farm during his hour-long talk to students and staff at Lake Area Tech in Watertown on Wednesday.
“It’s good to see young people interested in agriculture,” Bones said to the group of 300-plus students. “We’ve got good things going on in (ag) technology that make us more efficient than ever and we’re doing that through education. I applaud you.”
Bones’ advice to young people included staying current with the ever-changing advancements in farm management, technology, marketing, and risk management practices – those strategies will separate today’s successful farmers from the rest. “It used to be that whoever worked the hardest was the most successful,” he said. “That’s not the case anymore.” Using current technology, taking advantage of education, and planning for the future determines today’s successful farmers.
Bones encouraged questions from students during his presentation. One question related to advocacy and its importance in educating the general public on ag practices. “Where ever you go, talk about ag,” he encouraged. “Use your social media skills to stand up and tell your story on Facebook and Twitter. Post pictures and let people know what you’re doing.”
The South Dakota Department of Ag’s website posts helpful ag-related data and links including resources, financing, value-added commodities, business development, marketing, and more at http://sdda.sd.gov/Secretary/.