Thursday, February 24, 2011

National Farm Machinery Show

Prosperity's Booth
Sarah Aubrey talking to Brock dealer Bill Obermeyer
Last week went spent in Louisville, Kentucky experiencing the National Farm Machinery Show. This event is the ‘Grand Daddy’ of equipment shows and we saw friends and made new ones from Maryland to Nebraska and all places in between. This year Erin Smith joined me to support and promote Prosperity in the Kentucky Department of Ag’s new resources room. Here’s a photo of the booth she set up for us. And, as I have the past several years, joined Brock Grain Systems in their huge booth that anchors one whole corner of South Wing A. It is great to see the Brock team-thanks to Roger and Rick-and to meet dealers from around the country and their farmer customers. We look forward to working with you! Photos taken by Erin Smith

Friday, February 11, 2011

Jamie Fisher to join Prosperity as Intern

Jamie Fisher is the new intern for Prosperity Ag & Energy Resources for the winter of 2011. Prosperity looks to help young graduates gain experience in the business world and to open doors through contact with professionals. As Prosperity’s second intern, Fisher’s responsibilities include grant research, client correspondence, grant administration and writing for this blog. She is looking forward to learning more about grant writing, marketing, communication and brand management in the agriculture industry. Summer 2011 and fall 2011 internships are still available by contacting Prosperity at

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Indiana ag industry events capture powerful ideas

Last week I had the good fortune to attend two ag industry events in Indiana that captured my attention and provoked thoughts. The Agribusiness Council of Indiana, now headed up by Ice Miller's Beth Bechdol, convened last Wednesday and Thursday on Indy's North side. Much of the meeting was aimed at technical and training information important to the membership, but Thursday's luncheon keynote offered perspective of interest to about anyone. Dr. Jay Lehr, an economist that is also considered a 'futurist' joined the session as he makes his rounds around the winter ag meeting circuit. Starting off with remarks that agriculture is the world's greenest industry,  he quickly won over some hearts. Yet he challenged the lunchtime crowd by asking us why we are not speaking louder than our detractors. Yes there is some noise being made about agriculture's heroics, but not enough. He encouraged participants to engage in conversations about agriculture's message and our sustainability saying it is not enough to be a green industry, rather we need to tell people just how green we are.

Enough, incidentally, was a theme that resonated the very next day during the Livestock, Forage and Grain Forum hosted by Indiana's various agricultural commodity groups. A large crowd traversed to the Indy Convention Center to take part in keynote speeches, including a moving and inspiring speech  by Elanco's President, Jeff Simmons. The author of the recent book, "Enough-Why the World's Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty" pushed audiences past their comfortable winter 'all's parked in the barn and washed and ready for spring' roosting spots and forced us to examine the continual work that needs done to feed the world. It's true, we continue to grow the world's food, quite literally, but there is a profound need to teach and enable many parts of the world to feed themselves, which the speaker and author, Roger Thurow impressed upon the audience. Though his grasp on American agriculture-and some of his views on public policy- were not of my liking, his message about teaching hungry to feed themselves should not go unheeded just because his political bent leans a bit too far in a certain direction...

 I've not read his book yet, but copies for each participant were generously included in our packets and I plan to tackle the book yet this February.

Finally, when some many 'aggies' get together in one place, there is always a feeling of fun and common interest in the air. I enjoy these events and the opportunity to network, too. It feels right to be with peers of a common interest and to share a few laughs and hopefully help work together to launch successful projects that benefit agriculture and communities.