By: Ann Oswald
You know the feeling. You’ve just attended a great conference or simply spent some time with some wonderful people, learning new things. These are prime opportunities for networking and knowledge building, so you take in all you can. At the end of it all you’re tired, but it was worth your time. Let’s say that you only have three words to highlight how you felt after each of these events. Ready? Go.
Now that I’ve challenged you, I decided I better take my own challenge. The event that I recently attended was the 2012 Pork Industry Days, which took place this past Tuesday at the Nielsen Community Center in West Point, Nebraska. Below are three words that I chose to describe how I (and many others, I’m guessing) felt after the event:
Encouraged. The community of people that met at the Nielsen Center were truly one-of-a-kind. It was so neat to be in the presence of and visit with men and women who believe in the same things I do. Stories were swapped, advice was given, and laughs shared. We were able to see how the pork industry is growing and the positive aspects taking place. Knowing that people are in the industry for the right reasons and have the desire to see it grow and develop is so encouraging. If that wasn’t enough encouragement, Tuesday ended in introducing eight more youth mentors, as well as celebrating having one hundred mentors over the years. Just think, that’s one hundred more young adults who are positively affecting the swine and agriculture industries. Also worth mentioning was the youth portion of the day, which brought in many young adults. The industry is the forefront of change and is blessed to have men and women who are working to better themselves, their farms, their communities, and their world.
Inspired. Through phenomenal speakers during the day as well as the ending speaker, it seems impossible to leave not feeling inspired. Producers as well as youth were reminded of their purpose in life and how much they make a difference for others. The concern and care that our producers have for others is powerful. For example, the table decorations of food were donated to a local food bank. On a larger scale, farmers are partnering around the world to feed the hungry. Overall, the theme of the day says it all: ‘Safe, Affordable, Abundant Food—Our Responsibility.’ Farmers are working hard to give the rights of food, choice, and sustainability to every consumer. I left knowing that big things are ahead for both producers and consumers.
Informed. Learning took place in many forms during the Industry Days. It could have been in talking to a producer, a vendor, or perhaps sitting in on one of the sessions. In order to provide the best care to their hogs, producers are always learning and adopting new ideas. New methods are constantly being applied in order to best take care of the environment, too, and the land that is farmed. Farmers take part in events such as these so that they can learn from others and make improvements. Remaining informed with current events is of top priority as well, and this was made possible thanks to the information shared at the conference.
There you have it. The 2012 Pork Industry Day in three words. Three powerful words. Make some room on your calendar for next year’s Industry Days. They are sure to be encouraging, inspiring, informative, and so much more. As consumers we can be thankful for safe, affordable, abundant food. Nebraska should be mighty proud of its pork industry. It’s truly one of great worth.