Chad Zuleger (far left), DBA director of government affairs, moderated the panel that included Audrey Kusilek, Travis Tranel, and Justin Peterson.

In response to the article “More farmers should run for elected office,” there is no question that farmers often can, and do, make incredibly good politicians. If young farmers leave the profession, we are in deeper trouble, though. I worry that there are fewer and fewer young people entering farming than we need, and that is a very serious issue.

And it seems that some farmers who become engaged in "political" efforts, including cooperative leadership, for example, do not have to exercise non-existing term limits, denying the next generation(s) the opportunity to become leaders. This is not true of all farmers and certainly is not unique to farmer organizations, but I know dairy farmers who serve or served 30-plus years or more on various dairy related boards.

What happened to the opportunity for the subsequent generations to learn and take on leadership roles? And what do we have to do to fix it? I believe that universal term limits in all leadership positions are warranted and should be implemented.

Len Bull

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2023
February 2, 2023
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