2014 Managers Conference is a Wrap!

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ManconfinsThe county Farm Bureau managers team with local farmers to address agricultural issues, while managing the day-to-day operations of an association. They are a facilitator who helps farmers learn about trade, economics, and policy. They are an educator who teaches children and consumers about agriculture. They are a public relations specialist who works closely with media and community leaders. These managers are an important link in the chain that makes us the Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB).

In an effort to keep that link strong, more than 80 managers convened in Bloomington for the 2014 Managers Conference, May 6-8, at the Illinois Farm Bureau building and the Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Normal. Steve Gannaway, IFB director of training and development, talked about why it is so important to offer this annual conference. "These managers wear so many hats. Not only are they the first faces to greet new members, they are also committee leaders, fair exhibitors, landlords, and more. At this conference, they can learn from each other, stay on top of hot issues, and hone their skills." He added, "It’s also a great opportunity for county and state staff to interact with each other."

The conference opened with an evening reception and trivia contest on Tuesday night. Wednesday brought a full day of activities at the IFB building. Scott Christopher, author and humorist, opened with a presentation (and a funny one, at that) on levity at work. The rest of the day included breakout sessions on social media, volunteer trends, technology, and sending the right message. IFB staff and affiliates presented brief updates, and managers had an opportunity to share with other managers. The evening was capped off with a fun-filled mingle and meal at a local restaurant, attended by managers, staff and guests.

The final morning session kicked off with regional meetings, followed by a greeting from IFB President Richard Guebert, and a closing presentation by Donna Hartley, with "Fire Up Your Life." She told about how she survived three life-threatening events and learned to turn these negatives into positives.

The 2014 Managers Conference is a wrap, but not without much learning and take-home skills to make them even better managers and stronger links in the IFB chain.

 

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