Field Trip 2
This year I was awarded a scholarship to attend the 2012 Agriculture Future of America Leaders conference. The conference was November 1st though November 4th in Kansas City, Missouri. This is the second year that I have attended and I participated in Track 2 of the conference. The conference is divided into 4 separate tracks. Through this conference, I have experienced and learned a lot dealing with leadership and agriculture.
The track that I attended focused on communication with leadership and in the agriculture industry. Delegates got the opportunity to listen to several keynote speakers, which were both inspiring and eye opening. One of the speeches during the Leaders in Agriculture Award Dinner really impacted me. The man who was speaking was the founder of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and was an avid photographer. He traveled all over the world helping those with hunger problems, bringing them and their communities food. Halfway through his presentation, he showed pictures that he has taken on his travels. The pictures were not pleasant to look at and there were very humbling. The people photographed were starving individuals just trying to stay alive. His message was that life is an ovarian lottery. We do not ask to be born with the circumstances that we have, but it is what we are given. The speaker then said that anybody who was in that conference room already won the lottery. The people in that room almost always know that we can get food and will have fantastic opportunities. His final message was we have opportunities to share with others who have not been given such good tickets. The choice is ours as to what we will do with our winning tickets.
Another speaker that presented was Dr. Jay Lehr. Dr. Lehr has been in the agriculture industry for a very long time and is proud to be apart of it. The main message from his speech was to share the message of agriculture with people who do not know about agriculture. He pointed out that the agriculture industry is great at sharing information but within the industry it’s self. This self-sharing has lead to many problems such as the spreading of lies about the industry to the general public. But through the power of communication, the agriculture industry can remove those misconceptions and lies and give the general public the real image of agriculture.
This conference has had many positive impacts on me as an individual. I have learned many skills and gained much knowledge that I can use in my future. Overall, the conference was fantastic and I hope to attend next year.