The holiday season is over and I think my dogs are happy. My wife will not be taking any more Christmas pictures for a while. This time of the year is always packed with meetings, farm planning and budgeting, real estate sales, lease negotiations, and making sure clients have all of their information for tax season.
I often get bogged down in the daily grind but I want everyone to think about the upcoming year and the ASFMRA events that could help you grow as a professional. Some of you may directly pay for meetings and events, but most of us have a manager or supervisor that approves educational and meeting expenses.
Conversations with your supervisor can be challenging, especially when discussing time away from the office and the financial costs. You can go in fully prepared for the conversation and impress your manager. First, know the budget for the event. This would include traveling, meals, registration, hotel, and miscellaneous costs. Research if your Chapter has funds available to offset any expenses. Some Chapters help YPN members. For example, the Mid South Chapter provides scholarship funds to help pay for ASFMRA classes that are needed to obtain your designation. Additionally, the Mid South Chapter normally funds registration and flights for two members to attend Leadership Institute.
After discussing the financial costs, talk about how you will handle workloads while away. The third item to discuss is how the particular event will add value to you. Think in terms of advocacy, education, and networking, etc. You can impress your supervisor further by discussing what you plan to bring back to the office and share with others.
Below are three opportunities coming up this year for advocacy, education, and networking. I have been to all and encourage you to do the same.
Education Week - July 17 - 24, 2019 in Omaha, Nebraska. We will have a new Introduction to Cannabis Operations Valuation Seminar, in addition to core education, new and/or updated appraisal seminars, a YPN Event, and a special seminar for managers and consultants on Alternative Management Strategies for Enhancing ROI!
Leadership Institute - September 9 - 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. You can spend a week on Capitol Hill and see how Washington DC really works! I participated in this a few years back and it is worth your time. Learning how to be a better advocate and meeting your Congress person and staff is very important. You never know how they can help you or you can help them. For example, I had an issue with an Environmental Quality Incentive Program payment. The State NRCS was holding up a payment of almost $400,000 to my client for cost-share payments due to a minor technicality on paperwork. After a few months of getting nowhere, I reached out to my Congressman and staff. Within a few weeks, they were able to get the NRCS DC office to act. If you are thinking about LI, watch this video by our current President Tim Fevold.
Last, but not least is the 2019 Annual Conference: November 17 - 24 in Louisville, Kentucky. The Program Taskforce is putting together a great line-up so help us celebrate our 90th! Look for the 90 reasons you should join us and more information on The Future is Now - Converging Technology and Ag!