Thursday, November 18, 2010

What I'll Remember from Reno

Most of the 900+ dairy farmers and industry folks who attended the 2010 Joint Annual Meeting of the NMPF, NDB and UDIA during the last week of October in Reno, NV are likely no longer thinking about what they heard during the presentations and meetings, but a couple of the speakers' comments have been resonating in my head since we returned. Here's what I'll remember from Reno:

"The more you touch the poo', the more it stinks." ~ Barbara Martin, dairy farmer and blogger, about responding to negative comments on her blog, during the Young Cooperators social media session.

"Tell me something good." ~ Matt Booth, motivational speaker, during his presentation on goal setting and the power of a positive attitude. Instead of greeting people with "How are you?" and then listening to their often-negative answers, Booth asks people to tell him about something in their life that's good.

"Be consistent in your mood and temperament. If you're going to be a grouch, be a grouch every day." ~ Dr. Bernie Erven, professor emeritus of agricultural economics at Ohio State University, during his presentation on farm family communication.

"Establish a home for yourself. If your mom still washes your underwear, you're not ready to form a partnership with your dad." ~ Dr. Bernie Erven

"Have you been invited [to return to the farm] or have you announced your arrival." ~ Dr. Bernie Erven

"Catch people doing things right and say, "Thank you." ~ Dr. Bernie Erven

"In the next 35 years, we will need to double food production." ~ Mike Jerred, Global Dairy Leader for Cargill Animal Nutrition, during his presentation on feeding the world.

"In the United States, less than 10 percent of consumers' income is spent on food. There are parts of the world where families spend 95% of their income on food." ~ Mike Jerred  

(Can you imagine spending 95% of your income on food? Most Americans have no idea how lucky we are to live in a country where food is abundant, affordable and fresh.)

"In Russia, 20-30% of food spoils in storage due to lack of transportation infrastructure." ~ Mike Jerred

"From 1975 to 2009, we doubled per-cow milk production. Can we double it again?" ~ Mike Jerred

"From 1975 to 2009, grain yields doubled, mostly due to better plant nutrition. To double again, we'll need genetics and technology, not inputs, to grow yield." ~ Mike Jerred

"If drinking milk is wrong, then I don't want to be right." ~ Howie Long, former football player and FOX Sports Analyst, in response to animal agriculture's detractors. Long was the guest speaker at the opening luncheon.

"Farmers, ranchers, miners, manufacturers... These are the people that make the world go." ~ Jason Jennings, researcher and author, during his "Stewardship, Instead of Leadership" presentation.

(Sometimes it takes flying half-way across the country to be reminded that farming is one of the most important professions in the world.)

Last, but not least...

No, that's not real money we're gambling with. The resort set up a mock casino for the YCs. Basically, they were training us, so that we'd go to the real casino and make a donation. We didn't. But we sure had fun learning how to play Blackjack.

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