So I know this post is long overdue. The beginning of August I head East for the LEAD (Leaders Engaged in Angus Development) Conference. Me and 185 junior and advisers got to take in the sights and sounds of San Fran, Modesto and Chowchilla, California.
At Junior Nationals the Junior Board asked me to be their Association Staff Adviser. I was honored to be asked, and am looking forward to giving them guidance along the way. It also meant that I got to take this little trip with them. The picture is of Mallory, the past Chairman and Trey. I'm sad to see them go off the board, but they have left it in great hands.
Robin decided that we would take a quick detour and go down to the ocean. A lot of kids had never seen the ocean before. I think the last time I had seen it I was probably no old than ten or so.
The California folks did a great job of discussing the issues, both environmental and politic, that California ag is facing. The fact that there will be a major short, Prop 2 banning farrowing crates (among other things) and the fact that you could call California the center for animal rights activism. It was also really interesting to see the diversity of agriculture by just going a couple miles.
Silveria Bros. Angus was pretty neat. Not only did they have some great cattle (especially a few Hot Rod heifers I really liked), but they also grow wine grapes and almonds. Everything has to be irrigated. "As we heard over and over again if we aren't supplying water to it, its probably dead or brown at the least." This is me eating chardonnay grapes of the vine. They we awesome. I made sure to have some later in a glass as well.
We also had two great speakers - Justin Lookadoo - who I would highly recommend and has some great books out there for teens, parents and those looking to succeed, and Scott Vernon that is leading a really interesting agriculture advocacy group. I'll have posts on both of them later.
We also had time to do Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf. It was pretty funny to see the kids' expression when I was prepping them before they got off the bus, and I told them they might see homeless people and beggars. It was good to expose these kids to some big city living!
This seemed appropriate.