Being the consummate procrastinator that I am, this blog is being constructed on the eve of our final AgriPOWER session. After seven sessions and eight months, there is plenty to reflect upon. Looking back and looking forward, I can summarize the AgriPOWER experience very simply: fun, but not done.
Let’s start with the fun. With a 400 word limit, I can’t begin to tell you about all of the stories, jokes, and laughs that we shared as a class. However, I can tell you that we had fun. Lots of it. Don’t believe me? Here are some of the highlights:
– AgriPOWER After-Hours for each session by a fire, in a hotel lobby, or in someone’s room
– Karaoke……actually, maybe too much karaoke
– 3 a.m. Waffle House runs
– Fan Club meetings for our favorite AgriPOWER speakers (who shall remain unnamed!)
– Seeing Caitlyn Jenner outside of Congress (yes, this really happened)
– Experiencing the tractor pulls at BG, several of us for the first time
– And the life lesson that Melinda waits for NO ONE!
These are just the highlights, too! Admittedly, for some of these experiences you just had to be there to understand. However, what I hope you take away is that AgriPOWER, although a professional development experience, is loaded with great times.
Despite all of the fun we enjoyed during our AgriPOWER sessions, our attention now must turn to the future. AgriPOWER Class VIII is done, but our work for the agriculture industry is just beginning. Remember, fun, but not done.
How will we use our state and federal policy knowledge to educate our elected officials? Which of us will become the policymakers of tomorrow? Who will accept leadership positions in our communities? Will all Class VIII members continue to brush up on agricultural policy issues facing our industry?
These questions, and others, will be the questions that our class will be charged with addressing in the years to come. Now, more so than ever, we are equipped with the answers.
AgriPOWER graduation is a time to celebrate accomplishments and relive memories from an awesome experience. But it is time to turn away from the past and look to the future. Farm Bureau didn’t provide us with this opportunity for a short-term gain for our industry. It assembled this program, as well as Class VIII, so that we could all make a substantial long-term impact on Ohio and American agriculture. We have had our fun, but the work is not done.