It’s been over 1,500 miles since my last blog and I am going to admit, things are crazy! Winter always seems to be filled with meetings and memberships and well, we are in full swing in District 9. I often get the question from new Farm Bureau members or let’s be honest, my friends and family who are not familiar with Farm Bureau, “What do you do?” It’s a hard question to answer because there are a lot of hats that a district coordinator has to wear. On any given day, we could be a teacher, membership recruiter, secretary, photographer, matchmaker, event planner, NASCAR driver, confidant, sounding board, clerk, banker, mentor, professional organizer, reporter, editor, cheerleader, mediator…and the list goes on.
So, I present to you…A Day in the Life of a District Coordinator. Disclaimer – every day is different but one thing is certain, we have to be ready to expect the unexpected, practice patience and be flexible – all things that everyone should do, no matter what!
7:15 a.m. – I am a pretty scheduled person so I usually turn on my computer, log in and then go and make a cup of coffee. Just a cup.
7:20 a.m. – It’s a Monday so I catch up on the phone calls that came in over the weekend on my office phone. On this day, there were questions about membership and an upcoming meeting in one of the counties I work with. I also take a look at the week ahead and see which agendas need to be sent out which leads to contacting county presidents for their meeting information, and getting that information sent to the state office.
8:45 a.m. – Gather up materials for an Ag in the Classroom committee meeting. The group is discussing the essay contest, choosing a book to distribute to elementary schools and brainstorming other ideas to make their Ag in the Classroom program better. You always need to predict some of the questions that will be asked during a meeting and try to be ready with materials that might be needed.
9:00 a.m. – My theme song really should be Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again.” Today, I’m headed north. So, what do I do with all of my time in the car? I catch up on phone calls (my biggest fear is getting stranded in the Chequamegon National Forest with bears and wolves and absolutely no cell phone reception…oh my…), and come up with some harebrained ideas. My latest one was a year of selfies. The other district coordinators really weren’t as on board as I was so we might have to scratch that one off the list. If I am going to be in the car for longer than two hours, I usually listen to a book. But one of the best things about traveling all around northwest Wisconsin is the beautiful scenery; especially after a snow…please note… AFTER a snow. I have been stuck in plenty of snow storms. Not my most favorite thing to do and like for most of you, this winter has been rough!
10:30 a.m. – I arrived at my destination early because there was a scheduled conference call for Farm Bureau staff about an upcoming project. Remember when I said you need to be flexible and patient? This is one of those times! There were a few glitches with the call so I called a member from the committee meeting I was heading to and let them know I was going to be a little late. All is well. You just have to roll with the punches.
10:45 a.m. – We’re on! I participated in the conference call and got done in time to get to the committee meeting at 11:15!
11:15 a.m. – I met with the Ag in the Classroom Committee. Volunteers reviewed/read a couple of books and made a decision on what they would like to distribute to the school libraries throughout the county, made decisions on the essay contest including distribution of materials and prizes and looked at other activities they could do throughout the year. My role in the meeting is to provide guidance, answer questions, throw out an idea here and there and be a cheerleader for them! Our volunteers do great work!
12:30 p.m. – The meeting wrapped up and I am headed home. I caught up with a county Young Farmer and Agriculturist chair on some ideas (YFA Chairs do great work too) they had for the upcoming year and also chatted with another district coordinator on the way.
2:00 p.m. – I arrived home and caught up on the emails that came in while I was away. I received questions about FFA Farm Forum, a funny email from another district coordinator who was asked to play matchmaker, yes matchmaker…maybe she could direct this specific person to farmersonly.com. Please note…I don’t play matchmaker. There were also questions about membership lists, county financials and the upcoming Ag Women’s Summit. Speaking of Ag Women’s Summit, have you registered yet? If not, you should!
2:30 p.m. – There is a county board meeting tonight so I need to prepare the board report. This is something that all district coordinators do and my reports include the most current membership numbers, upcoming events from around the district and state, articles from Ag Newswire and other announcements.
Somewhere here I take a break, have dinner, watch Ellen at 4…
7:30 p.m. – I attend the county board meeting. During the meeting, I answer questions, take minutes and give my board report.
9:45 p.m. – Meeting adjourned. Socialize for a few minutes and hit the road!
10:30 p.m. – Arrive home just in time to watch Jimmy Kimmel. If you like to laugh, watch Jimmy Kimmel…really…you will not be disappointed!
And that was Monday in a nutshell. Just a glimpse of a day in the life of a district coordinator.