Networking Round Tables Leaders2019 Young Leaders in Agriculture Conference

June 17-19, 2019
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

This year’s conference continues the development of young leaders by exposing them to the diversity of today’s challenges and ideas surrounding food and farming while building advocates and expanding professional networks.

2019 Conference Agenda

June 17

12 pm Registration Begins
12:30 pm Welcome and Introductions
1 pm How to Pursue Your Passions and Move Towards a Fulfilled Purpose 

Ken Coleman, Author, Host, and Speaker

Ken Coleman is host of The Ken Coleman Show on SiriusXM and the top-rated Entreleadership podcast, and author of One Question: Life-Changing Answers from Today’s Leading Voices. Ken’s next book, The Proximity Principle, will be published in May 2019.  An acclaimed interviewer and broadcaster, Coleman equips, encourages and entertains listeners through thought-provoking interviews, helping them grow their businesses, pursue their passions and move toward a fulfilled purpose. Coleman joined Ramsey Solutions in 2014 where he frequently guest hosts The Dave Ramsey Show – the #3 ranked nationally syndicated talk radio show in America.
2:30 pm Make Them Remember You: For the Right Reasons

Bonnie Johnson – Marketing Associate,

Stand out as a candidate…in a good way! How do you get noticed in a crowd of applicants? We’ll discuss distinguishing yourself in the job search process, from resumes to cover letters, to the interview and follow-up.
3:30 pm Break
4:00 pm Networking
Designed as an opportunity for attendees to develop networking skills, the networking will provide an opportunity to initiate relationships with individuals within your identified areas of interest that may open doors to future mentorships, internships or a career.
6 pm Networking Meal

June 18

7 – 8 am  Breakfast
8 am The Connectivity Code: Creating Powerful Connection by breaking the Communications Code

Matt Rush – The Gooder Guy

According to a recent Gallup Poll, only 30% of workers are engaged in the work they do. This means that 7 out of 10 employees, managers, supervisors, board members, etc., are doing just enough to get by. No more, no less.

This lack of engagement causes all kinds of problems. It doesn’t have to be this way! Personal and professional success doesn’t happen by accident. They are choices.

Our ability as leaders to connect with others is critical. If we can create powerful connections with our peers, our customers, and even our families, we can design an environment of success and move from the status quo into a realm of real impact.

During the presentation attendees will learn:

  • What is Connectivity?
  • Communication Styles
  • The steps to begin speaking to be heard
  • The art of connecting to others
  • Effective words that inspire trust
  • How to give and receive criticism
  • Creating a vision to move forward
  • The difference between a Boss vs. a Leader
 12 pm Lunch
 1 pm What in the world is going on? A walk through the dynamics of animal agriculture and what it means to you

Joe Kerns – Kerns and Associates

 In this presentation, Joe will provide a backdrop of the economic forces that are shaping our industry and handicap the impact on your future.  Hint:  it is all (well, pretty much) good.  Warning – he can get a little excited talking about this stuff, even though you thought econ was a boring class in college.
 2 pm Consumer Behavior and Food Decision in the Digital Age 

Steve Lerch – Story Arc Consulting

 In an era when seemingly unknown YouTube creators reach larger audiences than cultural icons like Game of Thrones, it’s time for all of us to change our perceptions of influence, and for businesses to start accepting the fact that what they did ten years ago, five years ago, or even one year ago may be outdated. Everything has changed, from how we connect and communicate to how we gather information and make decisions. Consumer preferences for digital content are changing as quickly as the latest food and diet fads, but fortunately for us, it’s all connected.Explore how simple indicators like Google search data and social media comments can be used to understand and quickly react to the most unexpected trends in food and health (like an Australian Real Estate Mogul influencing a massive surge in American avocado toast consumption and a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ character setting a more significant definition of healthy than any doctor in the country).  Through embracing these wild trends and the accompanying data, better prepare yourself to take advantage of whatever comes next, including a world in which grocery trips are becoming as heavily researched as your next car purchase and a world in which both consumers and retailers are finally getting on the same page with digital grocery shopping.
 3 pm Adversity: It’s All in the Eyes of the Beholder

Jake Olson – USC Long Snapper and Speaker

   Jake Olson lost sight in his left eye before the age of one. For the next twelve years, he battled cancer in his right eye 8 times. Seven times he beat it. When it came back for the eighth time, there was nothing he could do. He was going to go blind. It was a sad feeling knowing that he had fought so hard for so long only to see the cancer win in the end. He knew he was going to have to re-learn how to do basic things that were once so easy. Putting toothpaste on his toothbrush, food on his fork, or walking around his house would all require significantly more effort. He viewed going blind as his biggest setback, but it ended up being his biggest set up.
 4:30 pm Service Project
 8 pm Supper at Hotel
 8:30 pm Dave Pfarr – Magician

June 19

7-8 am Breakfast
8 am Cultivating Meaningful Conversations…. and Relationships

J.J. Jones – Co-Founder, Roots & Legacies Consulting

As agricultural leaders, we are constantly told to share our story in order to build trust with consumers, stakeholders, and influencers. But what does share your story mean? What does it look like? … Sound like? … Feel like?

During our time together, we will explore what we know about consumers’ interest in today’s food system. We will dive into painting a picture of how food system leaders can build meaningful relationships with various audiences who impact our industry; our lives. We will learn key communication and relationship-building skills and, most importantly, explore how to apply these skills to our daily lives – at home, on the farm, in our communities, in our businesses and more.

This session is designed to cultivate you; an agricultural leader, nourish your professional development and allow you to enjoy the harvest of being a stronger leader for our industry.

10:30 am The Richest Man In Town

V.J. Smith

Join V.J. on an emotional roller coaster ride as he describes how Marty, an unforgettable cashier at a local big box store, had a profound impact on the people who went through his check-out line.  Marty became a legend in an unexpected place because he treated everybody with dignity, kindness and respect.  As V.J. says, “Marty was living proof that you don’t need money, power or title to make a difference in life.  You just need to care.”
11 am Closing Comments


Thank you to all of the amazing sponsors who continue to invest in young agricultural leaders

Compeer Financial – Presenting Sponsor
Boehringer Ingelheim Boehringer-Logo
Hog Slat
PIC ThePigSite_Product&Services
Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council
Southern Minnesota Center for Agriculture 3745927_G
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The Minnesota Pork Board is hosting its annual Young Leaders in Agriculture Conference, June 17-19  in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The conference is open to 18-22 year-olds interested in agriculture; all areas of agriculture are welcome.