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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cultivating "You" - Day One

The New Century Farmer conference started off the day with breakfast at Bennigan’s. It was interesting for everyone to get to know each other and meet all of the participants. The most interesting aspect for many was the amount of agriculture diversity across the nation that was learned as participants introduced themselves and talked about their farming operations. It was stunning to learn about the different kinds of operations that other participants have. The first main conference session took place at Pioneer. Our first guest speaker was Dean Oestrich, past president of Pioneer. He spoke about the danger of the growing population, as well as how technology is greatly advancing the agriculture industry. Next, we heard from keynote speaker Chad Gregory with the United Egg Producers. He spoke on the future of agriculture and its importance. He focused on uniting the different commodity groups to achieve one certain goal- education and advocacy for the animal agriculture industry. It opened many participants’ eyes to say the least! Many people only focus on protecting their farm and commodity group, but instead we must unite as an industry and tell others about agriculture! We have to not only cultivate but also advocate!

Students visit with Chad Gregory from United Egg Producers

We also had a chance to learn about vision statements- where participants will write down a vision statement that they will take back to their operation. Lunch was served where participants had more opportunities to mingle amongst ourselves and Pioneer staff while experiencing more time to learn from one another. For the afternoon, the group went to the Iowa FFA Enrichment Center for ropes course activities put on put on by the Adventure Learning Center. Everyone learned how teamwork is important even in production agriculture. Finally, the night was concluded with supper at Fuddrucker’s, followed by small groups learning more about each other by sharing their Ag in the Bag with their small group. Ag in the bag is a way for participants to showcase their operation to other participants in their group. We are looking forward to another great day tomorrow!

Wyatt DeJong – South Dakota

Dan Venteicher - Iowa

NCF participates in team building activities held at the Iowa FFA Enrichment Center.


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