This week I will embark on one of the greatest adventures I will probably ever have in my life. I will be traveling with Kansas Farm Bureau’s Casten Fellows to Uganda and Tanzania. To say I am excited would be an understatement. To also say that I am a bit apprehensive and even more nervous would also be correct. All I know for sure is this will change my perspective on the world. 

Personally, I like to look for challenges or experiences that will help me grow and will stretch my view of the world. This trip should certainly do that. All I know is my own little corner of Kansas. I have been lucky enough to experience other parts of the state and the United States, and that has helped me as a person. My view of the world has changed from those experiences. I can only imagine how it will change from what will happen over the next two weeks.

I hope to pick up some ideas that will help me when I get back. I am also hopeful this trip will allow me to appreciate the blessings I have been given and, I am sure, take for granted. I also hope this trip will give me greater insight about how important the work we do on our farms and ranches is.

I hope I come home with a greater appreciation for the good work we do in Kansas Farm Bureau and in agriculture in general.

I am sure most, if not all, of you feel like I do, and it is our responsibility to produce as much food and fiber as we can for a world that is in desperate need of it. I am proud of what we do, and I am proud and humbled to represent that to other nations. I also realize I do not understand other parts of the world like I should, and I hope to gain insight through the next two weeks.

This is another example of some of the opportunities I have had through Kansas Farm Bureau and an example of experiences any of you who are members could have, too. My understanding of agriculture in Kansas and the United States has grown exponentially because of these experiences and soon my global understanding will be greater also. I am telling you about this to encourage each of you to take advantage of the opportunities and expand your understanding of agriculture.

Am I nervous about the unknown of this trip? You bet I am. Am I a little worried about home and what might happen while I am gone? Without a doubt. Those are just part of the experience. The hardest part of any Farm Bureau trip is when the mailbox is still in the rearview mirror. I promise to write more about the trip in this space, but I hope this will inspire at least a few of you to take advantage of opportunities available to stretch your understanding of agriculture.