MFB’s 2021 Young Farmer Excellence in Agriculture Award winner Loren King brought his insight and expertise in farm advocacy and technology to the national stage, taking home second place at AFBF’s annual convention in Atlanta.
The Excellence in Agriculture Award is designed to recognize young farmers for their involvement in agriculture, leadership ability and participation in Farm Bureau.
During his presentation to a panel of judges, King spoke about advocating on behalf of farm policies, looking toward technology that will be prevalent in the next five years, and why it’s important for youth learn about technology and ideas before they start on the farm full time.
“I want to convey that innovation and advocacy are both intertwined and connected,” King said. “Ideas can get so big that they’re hard to even conceptualize, like blockchain. So, it’s about using multiple connections to get across an idea so that no matter who you are, you can grasp the significance.”
The judges were thoroughly impressed with King’s presentation and followed up with questions on how technology — like drones — can be used to attract non-ag students to agriculture, and how social media platforms can better be used to advocate for agriculture.
King has a deeply rooted passion for storytelling, which he puts to use as a social media strategist in East Lansing where he works across Michigan agriculture to tell farmers’ stories. His home farm is in St. Joseph County, where King’s family raises corn and soybeans near Burr Oak.
King said he’s thrilled to be representing Michigan in his presentation and was inspired by the support he received by the many Michigan Farm Bureau members in attendance.
“You’re not really representing yourself in this situation,” King said. “I always thought about my county and how taking part in this program would benefit them.”
As the state winner, King received a three-month lease of a Michigan CAT Skidsteer; a $1,000 AgroLiquid gift certificate; up to $1,000 of business/estate consultation from Clark Hill; and an all-expense paid trip to the AFBF Annual Meeting to compete in the national competition, sponsored by the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture.