There’s something about being around a group of farmers that warms my heart.
Dairy farmers are no exception to this rule.
When I was invited to the Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference in Frankenmuth, Michigan, I jumped at the opportunity.
My responsibilities were simple: speak at a couple of sessions and help the MSU ANR Communications staff cover it.
During the three day conference, I accompanied Michigan dairy producers as they looked ahead to the future of their industry.
We listened to top notch speakers, learned about new technologies to implement on dairy farms and looked for new ways to connect with consumers.
The 2010 Michigan Dairy Ambassadors were also selected during the conference.
Getting to know the eight amazing students vying for the two ambassador positions made me pity the judges who had to choose between them.
Even though only two will go on to fill the position of ambassador, I have no doubt that all eight will be wonderful advocates for the dairy industry.
Today, I had the privilege of helping my new friend and fellow agriculture writer, Amanda Nolz, with a youth program.
Amanda and I discussed the challenges of growing up a farm kid in a school full of students who don’t understand agriculture.
While I love working with adults in the industry, getting to know these kids reminded me why working with youth is still my favorite.
There’s something inspiring about watching these youth mature into the next generation of America’s food, fuel and fiber providers.
To sum the entire conference up in one post would be impossible.
I learned way too much, met way too many people and took way too many pictures for that. Don’t be surprised if I keep reflecting back on these experiences in future posts.
Though I normally focus on the livestock side of the animal agriculture industry, I hope you’ll enjoy learning about the dairy side of things as much as I did. We can all learn something from our fellow industries and the dairy folks are great teachers.