Back when I was just a rookie reporter I was introduced to a new phrase – “meeting season.” The established journalist that shared the term with me had been through their fair share of meeting seasons, at least 25, I’d say.
At the time, our editorial team was sitting down for one of our semi-annual planning meetings and trying to decide who could go where.
The period from mid-January through the end of March was littered with meetings here, there and every where.
Granted, many meetings are held at various times of year, but this period in particular was very popular. Why? Quite simply because it is not planting season, growing season or harvest season, which makes it the perfect time for meeting season.
I must admit, I have mixed feelings towards this season as many people do over any other season – be it winter, spring, summer or fall. It certainly makes for more time on the road than time in the office, accomplishing daily responsibilities.
But at the same time, I firmly believe my job is not done well when I only stay in the office. For during meeting season I get to do what many of you like to do at meetings – network.
There certainly is a lot of information to be gleaned from the speakers brought in from near and far, but sometimes the information learned in hallway conversations can be just as enlightening. Meetings give me the opportunity to get a much closer look at the industry – from the inside.
An upcoming meeting I am looking forward to this season is my return to the Western Canadian Dairy Seminar (WCDS). What an outstanding event, from the pre-conference tours and workshops to the two-and-a-half days of non-stop, learning opportunities.
This year, the seminar is celebrating 30 years of providing an educational event to not only Canadian producers, but also those around the world. If you intend to go or are still on the fence, I invite you to read a preview of the event by clicking here.
While 30 years doesn’t seem like a very long time, it is amazing to look at some of the things that have changed over that period. From how you feed and house your cows to how we now communicate and hold meetings.
I recently heard Mike Hutjens, one of the speakers planned for the 2012 WCDS, look back at his 30 years as a dairy specialist.
He stated that, early in his career, he and other specialists were required to lead at least 80 meetings per year. In the last three decades that number has fallen dramatically. In our Internet-era with financial constraints on most organizations and institutions, it seems there are fewer meetings being held each year.
However, in this past year, some of you took the time to attend an additional meeting held by Holstein Canada as it was contemplating an amalgamation with the Canadian Dairy Network.
The organization traveled throughout the country gathering your opinion on the proposed idea. Based strongly on member input from these meetings, the organizations announced last month that amalgamation plans have ceased. Click here to find out more about what the organizations learned from the process and what each has planned for the future.
Because I feel meetings and events remain as an important part of the dairy industry, each issue of Progressive Dairyman contains a calendar of events.
Go to page 38 to see what’s happening across the country in the next few months. If you know of something we’ve missed or are planning an event in the future, please feel free to send me an email or give me a call with the information so I can add it to our calendar.
I wish you all a very merry meeting season and perhaps I’ll see you around. PD