Rural kids in Chicago

Rural kids in Chicago

Dec 15
Kendall Herren, Senior in Agricultural Communications
  

Rarely do you see many farmers walking the streets of Chicago, but this past weekend rural America stormed the windy city for the Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) 2014 Annual Meeting. As I hopped on the train last Friday morning, I saw Pioneer and Monsanto hats, dress boots, and agriculturists from across the state eager to discuss agriculture

This annual meeting brings in farmers and agriculturists from across the state to discuss the latest happenings in the industry, talk with politicians about legislation, and meet up with old friends in the industry. I went to Chicago with 10 fellow Illini Collegiate Farm Bureau members, as well as friends from across the state that attend Western Illinois University, Illinois State University, and Southern Illinois University, to learn more about IFB and partake in the weekend’s events.

We engaged with the Illinois Young Leaders, Illinois Farm Bureau members, and watched a presentation given by Captain Richard Philips, whose boat was taken over by Somali pirates. All of these events were fun, especially since I met up with friends from across the state and former co-workers from my internship. Amongst all of the great fun, the most exciting part of the trip was watching the discussion meets.

Farm Bureau discussion meets are competitions that members can take part in, that is essentially a competition on how to discuss topics in agriculture. Each meet is comprised of 4-6 individuals, depending on which round they are in. They are judged on how well they compromise with others, the knowledge and information they present, and their public speaking skills.

I enjoy watching these competitions because they make you question your own thoughts and ideas on different topics in agriculture, whether it pertains to livestock, grain operations, or agricultural education. Many different viewpoints are brought into the discussion and valuable information is shared as well.

We learned a lot from our trip to the city, in hopes of bettering our industry for the world.

Rural kids in Chicago
ACES students met up with President Easter at the Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Chicago