Guedon selected to top position

Published 2:30 am Monday, December 20, 2010

NATCHEZ — Natchez resident Noble Guedon was recently elected to serve a one-year term on the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors, bringing his farming experience to the state’s largest general farm organization.

Guedon will serve as the chairman for the Young Farming and Ranching Committee.

Guedon said he was glad to have the new position.

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“You have to be willing to put in a lot of hours, sacrifice a lot and work hard,” he said. “You have to put more than just time into this business.”

Guedon said he has been in the agriculture field since he was a teenager.

“I grew up on a farm and started helping my father when I was 14,” he said. “You almost have to grow up in the industry to be a part of it because of all the hard work.”

Guedon said the sacrifices most farmers have to make lead many potential farmers away from the fields.

“In the summertime I spend more time with the crops than I do with my family,” he said.

Guedon said the lack of young farmers in the fields is becoming more of a problem every day.

“We are trying to get young people coming out of college to go into the agriculture business,” he said.

Guedon said even though profit margins are larger and working in the fields is a lot more attractive than it used to be, young people aren’t flocking toward the field.

“We are seeing more interest in agriculture these days,” he said. “It’s just no one is actually working on the farms. They are doing other work, like working for John Deere or another corporation.”

Guedon said recruiting younger farmers to the fields is crucial to the success of the agriculture industry.

“The average age of the American farmer is getting higher and higher each year,” he said. “If we can’t get people into the fields, we aren’t going to have anyone doing these jobs.”

Guedon said currently, approximately 2 percent of the U.S. population feeds 80 percent of the population.

“That sector is getting smaller and smaller every day,” he said. “We need to work on finding a solution.”

One thing Guedon said he wanted to do with his new position is to bring more focus to Natchez.

“I try to promote Natchez as much as I can,” he said.

Guedon has already done this by getting the bureau to host a leadership conference in the city.

“I just want to represent this part of Mississippi in a positive light,” he said.