My name is David Hafner and I am FarmerAdvocate.
I grew up in the South Florida equine scene. My time working in the equine industry taught me a lot of things with the most important being communication. During my time as a professional equestrian and trail guide I would take tourists on horseback rides in the woods for 1-2 hours, and often it was my guests' first time on a horse. Communication skills were important to keep everyone safe and to make sure they had a great time.
In 2016 I was selected to join the Florida Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers (FFBF YF&R) Leadership Program. For two years I was given access to agriculture's top decision makers, from farmers of both large and small farms to state legislators and congressmen, the FFBF YF&R gave me front row access and I took every advantage to make meaningful connections.
After I graduated from the FFBF YF&R in 2018 I applied and was selected to join the American Farm Bureau Partners in Advocacy Leadership (PAL) Program. The doors that had already been unlocked for me with FFBF YF&R swung wide open with PAL. With PAL I was at the table, in the discussion for the future of agriculture, meeting with industry leaders, trade representatives, and media giants.
During my time in Farm Bureau leadership programs I started my own smallholder farm. Raising livestock is where I found my niche and I now raise sheep, pigs, and poultry with my wife and four sons.
With my life experiences and leadership training I now focus on telling my story and the story of agriculture with the goal of reaching the non-farming population to help them understand their food story.
My goal is to use the skills and connections I have gained from my experiences to offer to the general public an opportunity to have a personal relationship with their food. I want people to hear farmers' stories about the process of growing and raising food and getting it to their homes. I want people to hear stories about what farmers do in their everyday lives, the ups and downs. I want to help people understand farmers live, work, and play in the same places as everyone else. I want to be a voice for agriculture and I want people to know their farmer.