Jason and Rachel Kinsaul are perfect examples of why Farm Bureau offers the Young Farmers and Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture Award to recognize young professionals who work in the ag sector, display a deep appreciation for farming and passionately promote agriculture.
Rachel is an ag teacher/ FFA advisor at Morgan County High School. Jason is an ag lender for Rabo Agrifinance working with clients in Southeastern states.
They helped start the Morgan County Farm Bureau YF&R Committee, work to preserve green space, farmland and timberland with the Madison-Morgan Conservancy and belong to the Morgan County Cattlemen’s Association.
Rachel’s love for ag came from growing up next door to her maternal grandparents’ farm in Greene County. That grandfather, J.P. Dyar, was a charter member of the Greene County Farm Bureau and taught her why Georgia agriculture needs Farm Bureau.
“He understood the importance of having an organization that will advocate for farmers,” Rachel said.
The first eight years of Rachel’s teaching career allowed her to be active with three different county Farm Bureaus as she transferred schools to get closer to home.
“We’ve moved around a lot with our jobs, which gave us the chance to see how a wide variety of counties operate,” Rachel said.
She was active with Pike County Farm Bureau and credits it for showing her how to have an active YF&R Committee.
“We’ve started YF&R groups in Walton and Morgan counties. We just found out we’re on the state YF&R Committee next year. We’re really excited. Hopefully, we’ll get to help other counties start up YF&R programs,” Rachel said.
Growing up in Thomaston, Jason was three generations removed from the farm, but he’s always been drawn to nature. He was an active FFA member, serving as president of his FFA Chapter and as an area vice president. He began a lawn care business in high school and kept it going for a while after entering college.
“I’d always enjoyed being outdoors, so I started looking at getting an ag or forestry degree. Agribusiness seemed a good fit because I had a business mind,” Jason said.
The Kinsauls are using their jobs to help a new generation of farmers get started.
Jason helped his company establish a loan program for young farmers that provides them with the financing they need and pairs them with older farmers, accountants and lawyers to coach them in making crucial business decisions.
“If a young producer is going to be successful, he’s got to have a group to fall back on. He can’t do it on his own,” Jason said. “Having a support group is just as important as having capital.”
Rachel does her part to develop the next generation of producers by pairing students who want to farm with farmers. The students get experience farming while the farmers get needed labor.
The Kinsauls have bought part of her paternal grandfather, Lamar Patrick’s, farm and have a growing goat herd to maintain the pastures. Their five-year plan is to start a cattle herd.