South Carolina YF&R Conference, part 2

Good Morning Everyone!

It has been a while since the SC YF&R conference and I have yet to update you on the whole thing. I am sorry! So here we go.

Saturday was a great day for expanding your horizons and digging into the meat of our daily lives. We began the morning with a delicious breakfast and concurrent workshops. William and I attended the Pesticide Credits with Jay while many of the wives attend the Spouses Workshop. Jay’s Workshop focused on resistant weeds across our state. Many benefited from the ability to renew their certifications.

I must say that I should have attended the Spouses Workshop. They made Cookies on a Stick! Which yes men I realize that may not sound exciting but they were SUPER cute. Basically you mix up some cookie dough (or use pre-made), cut them to the shape you would like, insert a sucker stick and bake. Then decorate however you would like. After the decorations have dried you arrange them as you would a flower vase. Super cute idea and everyone seemed to have LOTs of fun!

The next two workshops were about Economic Development for Rural America with Greg White and Beef Cattle Profits with Brian Bolt. These workshops were also concurrent so William and I attend the Beef Workshop.

Brian gave many great ideas about better management practices and finding that niche market in the beef industry. He also brought out some good points about selecting bulls for your herd. For example if you are a commercial cattlemen marketing your calves at weaning to the local sale barn then why are you worried about carcass data??? Weaning Weights and birth weights are all that you will deal with. As a trained livestock judge I had never streamlined EPD’s that way but it makes sense. Thanks Brian for such a great session.

After a quick coffee break we attended the Enter & Win contest workshop. Former winners from each of the three YF & R contest spoke about how and why you should enter those contests. My next post will detail that workshops event so that everyone can benefit from the great resources that were provided.

After finishing up the contest workshop we had a wonderful luncheon with guest speaker Trent Loos. Trent is a rancher from Nebraska who spends 200 days a year on the road advocating for agriculture in America. Trent gave us some great tips on spreading our message while reminding us we need to ensure that it is a message filled with facts and the truth. Again the take home message was TELL YOUR FARM STORY, whether on a plane trip across the country, in the grocery store or through social media put a face on American Agriculture.

The afternoon continued with more concurrent sessions on CAMM Credits and Grain Market updates. I hate to admit it however we did not attend those sessions. We took that opportunity to nap and do a little shopping since we didn’t bring the little man along on the trip.

That evening kicked off with an Awards Banquet honoring the Photo Contest winners and the state YF & R committee. Reggie Hall gave us a report on the wonderful happenings within SC FB Promotion and Education department and Gary Spires gave us an update on legislative happenings. It was a great way to get updated and stay on top of concerning agricultural issues. Our conference ended with a Dessert cruise on the Spirit of Charleston. The food of course was wonderful and plentiful.

I encourage each of you to pack your bags and get ready for the 2011 SCFB YF&R Conference at the Westin Resort on Hilton Head Island January 28-30, 2011! I hope to see you there!

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