Saturday, February 27, 2016

Accelerate- Learn, Live, Lead

"You never stop learning, you should never stop learning,
 learning is not just a gift, it's a privilege." -

Farmer John and I took a couple days away from the farm and recently had the privilege of learning at a Leadership Conference hosted by Minnesota Farm Bureau. The theme of the conference was to learn about new possibilities for leadership, see how others live to accomplish their goals, and discover new ways to lead.

Here are a few of the highlights.

Much of our first day was spent on tours. Our first stop was Twin Cities Hide.
35,000 cattle hides are processed here each week.
60% of the hides will be made into shoes.

These hides are ready for shipment. The blue color is a preservative.

Our next stop was the National Weather Service. There isn't a farmer on earth that isn't interested in the weather, since it affects everything we do. We were all invited to become weather watchers/reporters in our hometown areas too.

We had an interesting conversation with the weather service employees about the weather balloon John found in our field. It turns out, it was sent from the location we were visiting, and only about 20% of them are returned by those who find them.

Finally, we visited  University of Minnesota Meat Lab and Dairy Lab.
The meat lab is a modern research and teaching facility.

The Dairy Lab is well respected for its dairy foods research. The technique for making Blue Cheese in the United States was developed here, as well as many ice cream flavors which are created and tested. Anyone for Apple Pie Cinnamon?

 The next day was spent attending sessions on leadership, advocacy, policy and business. I chose to attend sessions on sharing my farming story via classroom visits, and also using technology for these visits.

I also listened to three of my favorite bloggers who shared their successful blogging tips. And lastly, I learned about a wonderful resource, Ag In The Classroom which introduced me to some great resources to use in my classroom visits.

 John attended sessions on giving us the right tools to develop business and marketing plans, as well as a session on banker relationships. We were surrounded by some amazing speakers and resources.

"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young" -Henry Ford
Thank you  to Minnesota Farm Bureau for keeping us young!

Some of the 250 attendees
And thanks to Dakota County Farm Bureau for the opportunity to attend.

Dakota County Attendees

 And a special thanks to our kids Sara and Michael for arranging their away-from-the-farm work schedules so we could both attend. 

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