Wisconsin Farm Bureau hosted its biannual IGNITE Conference at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Stevens Point, March 25-26. Co-sponsored by Rural Mutual Insurance Company, IGNITE stands for Innovate, Grow, Network, Inform, Train and Engage. With about 125 members in attendance, the conference gave attendees the opportunity to develop professional skills that will strengthen their County Farm Bureaus.
“IGNITE does a great job of giving members and growing leaders the tools we need to go back to our home counties and districts and be successful,” said WFBF Young Farmer and Agriculturist Committee Chair Bob Nash. “I was happy to see a lot of new, young faces attending this year’s conference.”
The conference began on March 25 with fourth-generation Wisconsin dairy farmer and leadership trainer, Hank Wagner. Hank shared the value of relationships and being a servant leader. The evening banquet featured a celebration of Farm Bureau membership, led by WFBF Vice President Dave Daniels, with members reminiscing on why they became a Farm Bureau member and celebrating the organization’s volunteers.
The conference offered four tracks: policy, issues and advocacy; governance and organization; building Farm Bureau; and communicating for agriculture and Farm Bureau. Attendees could follow a certain track or divide their time between multiple tracks. Twenty breakout sessions were offered. Sessions included a political outlook for 2022, consumer outreach tactics, member recruitment and many more.
“The breakout sessions had many take-home lessons,” said WFBF Promotion and Education Committee Chair Brenda Dowiasch. “They provided attendees with many opportunities to connect with trainers, staff and state committee members to learn new ways they can contribute to their county Farm Bureaus.”
During the morning general session on March 26, Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation Director of Membership and Marketing Robin Kinney shared why volunteers are the important people who energize the organization and contribute to its success. The conference concluded with motivational speaker Rick Metzger. Metzger shared his four rules of success, encouraging members to be kind, live life to the fullest and be thankful for the opportunity to follow dreams.
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