Sunday, January 29, 2012

What a Weekend!

My Farmer and I attended the Iowa Farm Bureau Young Farmer Conference this past weekend in Des Moines along with 325 other young farmers from across the state.  We had a great time learning new things, meeting up with old friends and making new ones.  A bittersweet note to this year's conference for us was that it was my Farmer's and my last conference serving on the state Young Farmer Advisory Committee.  We've had a great time serving with this group the last three year.  A fun highlight from the conference was that this year our county had nine members attend; a new record attendance from our county.
Franklin County Young Farmers (My Farmer and I are in the blue shirts)
Trent Loos
There was a great line-up of speakers for the weekend.  Trent Loos, a rancher and radio host from Nebraska, spoke the first night and the next day during a break-out session about bridging the gap between agriculture producers and consumers, as well as how to speak out for agriculture.  He did this by providing a lot of great information, facts and figures.  Later in the week I'll be sharing more about one of those facts that My Farmer and I can't wait to share with others!

Aaron Thomas
Another great speaker at the conference was Aaron Thomas, the Athletic Director at Aplington-Parkersburg High School.  Aaron's message didn't have an agriculture focus to it, but yet it really hit deep with me.  He talked about courage, passion, and overcoming the odds.  Aaron's family has been through a lot.  His father Ed Thomas was a well known football coach who rallied the town of Parkersburg after a deadly tornado hit the town.  Then just a year leader, Ed Thomas was murdered by a past football player who was mentally insane.  Aaron talked about what decisions he and his family made that made a difference on how the situation was handled (Click Here to watch a video on Aaron and Ed's story).  One of Aaron's messages that made an impact on me was the focus of having quality time with your loved ones and not just quantity.  I am home with LP all day, so I have a lot of quantity time with him but do I always make that quality time...  Another message the resonated with me was how do I impact others.  Have I made a difference in other people's lives?

Overall I had a great time at the conference and I came back with lot of new information and ideas from not only Trent and Aaron, but from all of the other speakers too.


  1. Great article Val. The last part focusing on quality time not quantity time with the family made an impact on me as well.

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