Succession is not only important in agriculture on the farm or ranch but also in leadership. At the Arizona Farm Bureau, programs exist to train the next generation of leaders and encourage succession with county and state boards.

The two main programs in Arizona Farm Bureau include the Women’s Leadership Committee and the Young Farmer and Rancher (YF&R) program. Well-established programs, each one allows an individual to develop improved communication, media and leadership skills. Over the years, we’ve seen incredible gains in volunteer leadership contributions by many of our farm and ranch leaders.

We have seen in recent years how well this succession plan works, with many of the members who have graduated from the Young Farmers and Ranchers program or Women’s Leadership program and taken on leadership roles within their counties, in addition to giving them a seat on the Arizona Farm Bureau Board of Directors.

Today, on the Arizona Farm Bureau State Board of directors of the 24 members, 18 were involved in the Young Farmers and Ranchers and/or women’s programs. The county Farm Bureau boards reflect even more of that succession, with many YF&R and women’s Leadership Committee members participating in leadership on their county board of directors.

One Recent Story

One recent success story is in Navajo County Farm Bureau where Reed Flake, whose family has been involved in Farm Bureau for generations and who was once a committee member on the state Young Farmers and Ranchers, is now Navajo County Farm Bureau President.

Flake never thought of taking over as county president but when asked to step up he felt that it was his turn to serve and that after watching those around him, like his dad and his cousin, he was prepared to take on the task.

Flake also says being a part of the YF&R program was also a good way to learn about the Farm Bureau and see how the organization operates on a national level and be able to bring those experiences back to the county that he now serves as president.