Young farmers, ranchers support community
■ Editor’s note: This is one in a series of feature stories concerning organizations that benefit the Imperial area. Volunteering in a community, through organizations, is a way to pay back for the benefits that the community offers an individual.
By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
Although there is not now an active membership list for Imperial Young Farmers and Ranchers (IYFR), those in the Imperial area step up when needed.
IYFR was established in 1984, according to past director Randy Vlasin, “for people interested in ag leadership and education for adults.”
The two main activities these days are putting on a barbeque during the Chase County Fair and supporting two $500 scholarships for students.
In the past, IYFR presented two educational programs during the winter months; leadership development; a feedlot contest and a “pen of three,” where up to 40 pens of three calves each were judged during the fair.
Former state officers from the area were Rob Hartman, Kurt Bernhardt and Rex Prior.
Vlasin said that when funding at the state level was taken away, the state organization faded.
“We’re probably one of the last YFR organizations left in Nebraska,” he noted. It is also a support group for the Imperial FFA chapter.
The organization was structured for about 20 years, but has become looser the last five, Vlasin said.
Although there is no formal membership list, Vlasin said some younger farmers and ranchers in the area have begun conversations about reorganizing.
At one time, Vlasin noted, there were over 100 members and the local chapter was the largest in the state.
Lex Thompson is the president, with Jason Speck the advisor.