Last week I had the opportunity to attend an agricultural conference called FarmTech and I was really impressed with the high calibre of speakers who shared their stories and provided inspiration to the hundreds of people in attendance.
I’ve decided to share my key takeaways from several of the sessions and keynote addresses. While the speakers were addressing people involved in the agriculture industry, including farmers, I feel these key takeaways can apply to anyone involved in any industry. This is stuff worth remembering.
- Cami Ryan (http://doccamiryan.wordpress.com): Always be accurate, accountable and authentic. Think of it as the three As. I’ve always thought that being authentic or genuine is one of the best qualities a person can have. Just be real – people appreciate that. Add accurate and accountable and you have the full package. Cami Ryan is an outspoken advocate for ag, science and consumers, a public speaker and has worked in agriculture for over 20 years.
- Mary-Ann Kirkby (http://www.polkadotpress.ca): Be proud of who you are and where you come from. Never forget your roots. In my case, rural roots. Be proud of those roots. Mary-Ann Kirkby wasn’t always proud of her roots. She grew up on a Hutterite colony until she was 10 years old. At that time, her parents left the colony with their young family and started a new life. Mary-Ann went on to become a journalist and tell other people’s stories. Eventually, she decided to embrace who she was and where she came from and tell her own story.
- Leona Dargis (http://leonadargis.com): Two takeaways here. Show appreciation. Appreciate everything life has to offer. And appreciate those around you. A small thank you goes a long way. Hard work and perseverance will get you far in life. I’ve always said that I attribute my strong work ethic to growing up on a family farm. So does Leona. She grew up on a family farm in northeastern Alberta, faced tragedy when her parents and grandmother died in an accident and is now a powerful speaker.
- Michael “Pinball” Clemons (http://www.mpcf.ca): Be humble. As Michael “Pinball” Clemons wandered among the audience talking about how people consider him a hero, he stopped in front of Farmer Peter and told him that he’s the real hero for helping feed the world. Peter responded, “I’m just a humble farmer.” Peter could have been speaking for every farmer in that large room. Farmers are humble. And that’s the way everyone should be. Humility is a virtue. Michael “Pinball” Clemons is an American-born football player who played for the Toronto Argonauts for twelve seasons, and twice served as their head coach.
- Cmdr Chris Hadfield (http://chrishadfield.ca): Dream big! From farm to space. Every kid has big dreams growing up, and Chris Hadfield was no different. He grew up on a family farm in Ontario and ended up becoming an astronaut with a long list of accomplishments including being the first Canadian to walk in space and the first Canadian to serve as commander of the International Space Station. What a great example of living your dreams. I’ve written about Cmdr Hadfield on this blog in the past – check it out.
There you have it. My key takeaways from some very inspiring speakers. I hope you found it just as inspiring as I did and take it to heart.