Day two (July 26, 2011) of the 2011 New Century Farmer Conference proved to be another jam packed day of interesting speakers and tours. We began the day by breaking up into our track groups. The two tracks are row crop and animal production which allow us to focus on what relates most to our operations. The students interested in row crop production made stops at the Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Corn Growers Association meeting with industry leaders who focus on the issues facing the commodities industries today. We rounded out the tour at Iowa Farm Bureau learning about the programs they have implemented to help farmers.
The animal production track participants made visits to the National Pork Board, World Food Prize, and the Iowa State University Dairy department. After lunch we heard from Chad Gregory of the United Egg Producers to hear about animal welfare issues that agriculture faces every day. He brought new inspiration and fire to the New Century Farmers to encourage us to become advocates for animal agriculture.
The day concluded with a tour state-of-the-art Pioneer test plots and research facilities including their industry-leading animal research center. Finally, we finished presenting our Ag in Bag items to the entire group to highlight the diverse agricultural backgrounds that we all come from.
Alex Richardson, Western Kentucky University