A Montana Ag Agvocate Getting a Global Look at Agriculture in Brazil


Jennifer Bergin, a rancher from Melstone, MT, is currently in São Paulo, Brazil as part of the American Farm Bureau's Partners in Agricultural Leadership (PAL) class.  Bergin was selected as one of 10 outstanding young farm and ranchers leaders from across the U.S. for leadership and agriculture advocacy training.  The PAL class, which is designed to enhance leadership skills, takes young farmers and ranchers who have already begun personal development and take them to the next level.

According to the Montana Farm Bureau, Bergin decided to apply for the program (which has a tough selection process) because, “I felt I owed it to myself and the Farm Bureau members I represent to become better at speaking for them.”

This year’s PAL class took a trip to Brazil as a way to learn more about the ag industry and how agriculture is affected on a global scale. In the following two blog post, Bergin shares her experiences both as a ranch mom getting ready to leave her boys for a long trip and first impressions of São Paulo, Brazil. 


Brazil, ready or not

A passion for agriculture is a part of my family. Which then requires time, dedication and effort, on and off the ranch.  PAL was a mixture of all three. The dedication and effort were never a concern, I knew that I would have both of these. Time however, would be both my ally and my enemy.  Time spent on coursework, research and mostly away from my family.  

Before PAL, we sat down as a family and talked about the “what ifs”. If Mom was selected for the program, could we handle the time that I would have to dedicate to the Program. It would mean weeks away from the ranch but mostly weeks away from my family.  Weeks away from a hardworking husband and 3 busy boys.  This was the toughest decision that we had to make, and we did it as a family. 

The final answer came from #2 when he said “Mom you have to do it, it’s what will help you fight for our ranch in the future.  And there are crazy people who you have to argue with.” 

How could I argue, I wasn’t crazy! 
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