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Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Power of ONE

This post is part of what I learned from the Alltech One Conference.  In full disclosure, I was paid by Alltech to attend their conference to help with the Social Media presence during the conference. To find more ideas that were shared at the conference look for #ONEBigIdea on all the social media channels.  Thank you to Alltech for allowing me to attend their conference once again.  It is always a conference that sends me home thinking about things in a different way.

The world of agriculture is constantly evolving and more rapidly than ever. 

How do we encourage students to take a serious look at agriculture as a serious career? 

How do we prepare them in their early years of school to be great ag technologists when they get to college and in the workforce?

Dr. Karl Dawson, Chief Scientific Officer of Alltech, spoke on the need to see that we no longer have farmers, but instead we have agriculture technologists.  The science and technology involved in agriculture today is rapidly changing.  Students need to be comfortable and excited about both math and science to succeed in the future.  How do we make science and math fun?
  • Lab Exercises
  • Demonstrations
  • Realization of Career Opportunities
  • Competitions-The Alltech Young Scientist Awards are excellent example of awarding young collegiate scientists in agriculture.
Internships offer hands on learning where students can learn the basics of a quickly evolving technology.  Scientists see that time spent outside the classroom is as important as study time in developing the skills and leadership required for tomorrow's scientists. 

It is important that ag technologists will be driven and have an entrepreneurial spirit as well as understand the following:
  • Agriculture is global in Nature.  We are no longer just producing food for our neighbors around the corner.
  • Food producers have to understand the cultural diversity of the entire planet.

How can WE be the ONE to excite a child about learning? 

How can WE be the ONE to encourage a student to take a serious look at agriculture?

I do think we can learn a lot from Steve Wozniak about how to be that ONE person in a student's life.  Yes, “The Woz” who developed the first Apple Computer.  We listened to Mr. Wozniak during a session where he was presented with The Alltech Humanitarian Award.  I was most impressed with how humble he was and his giving spirit.  
Photo Credit to Taysha of Dirt Road Charm
When he developed the first Apple computer, he wanted to give it to schools to help teach students.  He and Steve Jobs didn’t agree on this concept, so he bought that computer for $300 and gave it to a school himself.  He also helped teach 5th-9th graders for eight years.  He thought if he could inspire just one student to not drop out of school that his time had been well spent.  Have you thought to try to save just ONE child and not just your own?

His words of advice that stuck with me the most were that you can be very humble and still have ideas.  He encouraged everyone to work on fun things that you can show off.  Working on fun things makes work fun, lets you show off, compare ideas with fellow inventors and helps develop your mental skills.  If students work on developing their mental skills, they will be an engineer before they know it. 

All these ideas from Mr. Wozniak brought me back to Dr. Dawson’s initial thoughts in his presentation.
 If you don't know a farmer or rancher, they truly are great engineers and work hard to make things function easier for those of us that work with them everyday.  There are some brilliant minds working behind the steering wheel of a tractor or a saddle horn who's minds never stop thinking how to make the world a better place to work.
I leave you with words from Coach John Calipari of the University of Kentucky Men's Basketball Team, "Your legacy is who you touched and how you impacted others."

Who is ONE student that you can help stay in school?

Who is ONE student you can excite about a career in agriculture?

If we change one thing, everything changes.

The power of ONE is endless.

-A Kansas Farm Mom

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