Glen Cope, of Aurora, has been named chairman of the national Farm Bureau's Young Farmer and Rancher Committee for 2012.
Cope said he hopes to encourage young farmers to be more active, particularly via social media and the Internet, in countering many misconceptions about agriculture.
"We should be playing a bigger part in helping consumers better understand the benefits of biotechnology and making them more aware of how farmers truly care for their animals," Cope said.
Cope, a former chairman of the Missouri Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee, feels confident in the future of farming, expecting an increase in demand for food and fiber producers. He also expressed his enthusiasm for the newly developed U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance and hopes Young Farmers and Ranchers committee members will take the opportunity to get involved.
Young Farmers and Ranchers includes men and women between the ages of 18 and 35. Program goals include helping young Farm Bureau members: learn more about agriculture; network and learn from other farmers; and take lead roles in agriculture and the Farm Bureau.
Cope, who graduated from the University of Missouri in 2002 with a degree in animal science, manages a 3,000-acre beef operation near Aurora. He will take over as chairman of the national committee in February and will serve in that position for a year.
"I think it's a great time to be in agriculture," Cope said. "I'm a fourth generation beef producer in Barry County. I have a young son and young daughter that are coming up, and I want nothing more than for them to enjoy the same opportunities that I've been able to enjoy.
"Through organizations like Farm Bureau, I think we have a great tool that we can use to further what we hope to do and extend that to the next generation," Cope said.