Bunkers are covered, silos are full and grain is stored. 2022 balances are settled and plans for 2023 are well underway. In the final weeks of the year, we take time to reflect on what we learned and accomplished as we begin preparations for the year ahead. As harvest wraps up and the busy season is behind us, our calendars fill with opportunities to connect with other farmers and agriculturists.
Here are five reasons to consider adding a conference or meeting to your calendar this meeting season.
For many farmers and agriculturists, networking opportunities are the highlight of conference season. Building a network of individuals with similar interests to share lessons and successes is vital to innovation and progress toward your goals.
Conferences are a chance to meet new friends and reconnect with old ones. This meeting season, invite a friend to join you for a learning opportunity. Make it a tradition to attend your favorite conference with old and new friends alike.
#2. Learning opportunities
Diverse interests and learning opportunities are available throughout the fall and winter months. These conferences and trainings are professional development opportunities for farmers and agriculturists. Many conferences offer continuing education credits for farmers and agriculture professionals to enhance their skills and be better equipped to serve their communities.
#3. New perspectives and ideas
Large groups of people offer diverse ideas and perspectives. Troubleshooting issues with peers can help find a solution you may not have thought of before. Be open-minded to new ideas and don’t shy away from sharing your perspectives with your peers.
The latest innovation in agriculture is on display during conference season. Whether it is a new cover crop blend, management method or state of the art technology, take advantage of the opportunity to learn from the experts and take that nugget of information home to share in your network or community.
#4. Planning for the New Year
Conferences provide an excellent opportunity for farmers and agriculturists to set goals and make plans for the new year. Gathering to share ideas and network with peers, experts, neighbors and friends is a springboard for progress.
Conferences occur in the first and last months of the year because of the growing season, but it is also a timely opportunity to reflect on the previous year and plan for the next. Inspirational keynote speakers might help to set the tone and perspective for the coming year. Workshops and panels provide new ideas and strategies for improvement.
#5. Reset and refocus
It can be challenging to get away from the farm or take a break from the hustle and bustle at the end of the year. Taking advantage of an opportunity to get away for one or two nights can be refreshing. Be inspired by a keynote speaker or workshop presenter. Let someone else do the cooking for a couple of days. With a trusted crew back home, you can invest in yourself and return to your work refreshed and refocused, ready to conquer your goals.
There is no better way to meet new people and get involved in a member organization than attending a conference that they host. You will meet members from around the state and even run into some from your own community. Use the time to connect with leaders in the organization and brainstorm activities for your community. You will learn more about the organization and grow into a leader by getting involved at a conference.
These opportunities to network, learn and innovate with others present unique opportunities to set the tone for the coming year. As we close the chapter on 2022 and look toward the year ahead, take some time to consider the conferences available to you and I challenge you to add at least one to your calendar.