By Laramie Wells, AgriPOWER Class X participant
The day started out with a room full of strangers with one thing in common — becoming a better leader in advocating for agriculture. The AgriPOWER Class X met for our first session in Columbus July 13-14. During this session we focused on getting to know ourselves, our classmates, Farm Bureau and its history.
No time was wasted getting to know fellow classmates we will have for the next eight months. Introductions were made with individual presentations to describe why we are all the people we are today. An introduction to Farm Bureau and its connection to Nationwide was also made with a Heritage Tour at Nationwide’s headquarters. Across the street during the Heritage Tour, the class observed many items used by Nationwide employees back when the business was called Farm Bureau Mutual. There were art pieces stored for employee use, frequently rotated across Nationwide offices and original documents of the first American Insurance Company stored at the headquarters. The most stunning piece of history the class got to see were the commercials first aired for the company. Much discussion took place of the content, the types of insurance and how the company has evolved.
After just a few short hours together, we dug deep into the different strengths each one of us possess and how we can focus on those strengths to make ourselves better equipped leaders. To further enhance our understanding of leadership, the importance of emotional intelligence was also discussed so we can gain awareness of other’s emotions we may be leading in the future.
To wrap up everything we will learn in this institute, a course of etiquette was taken. The entire class partook in a meal together, learning the proper methods of dining and being polite in formal situations. Other than the planned events during the two-day session, wonderful and meaningful conversations were had about agriculture, the place we call home and life. The session ended with many beginning friendships and several steps toward becoming respectful leaders in our industry through the help of the Farm Bureau.