Where has time gone? It was exactly seven years ago today that I came back to the Carroll County Farm Bureau after a three year break from Farm Bureau. If one totals up all my years with Carroll and Stephenson County Farm Bureaus, I have hit the 14 year mark! Wow is all I can say. It honestly does not seem like it has been that long but at the same time, it seems like I have been around forever. I saw that even more so this past week at Managers’ Conference. I am officially in the middle age group when it comes to managers which sounds crazy when I am still 30 years away from retiring!
In the three years that I was gone from Farm Bureau, I learned a lot. Some was good, some not so much. In my opinion the company I worked for as an accounting manager made me the OCD person I am. It also instilled into me a greater workaholic mindset than I was raised with, which I didn’t think was possible. I really enjoyed my job and did learn a lot of valuable knowledge that I brought back to Farm Bureau with me.
Back to my Farm Bureau years, I can still remember my interview with the late Jim Walsh at the Stephenson County Farm Bureau in 1996. It was my first major job interview. I was there for two and a half years. Let me tell you for any of you who knew Jim, it was quite an educational experience! It was then in June of 1998 that I changed offices to Carroll County. I came just in time for Tyler Beard to move on to a position at the Home Office.
When Tyler left, I remember being asked how I felt about working for a female manager. I cannot remember who interviewed with Michelle Steiger for the position here, but I remember thinking that was kind of a crazy question. At that time though, there weren’t the number of female managers that there are today, after all that was only 1998.
I keep saying that I am going to write a best seller based on my experiences with Farm Bureau. One cannot imagine some of the calls we get, some of the things we have done, and some of the experiences we have been a part of. Working with the public keeps one entertained for sure. It has never ceased to amaze me some of the questions that we get here at the office. I have come to realize we should be the keeper of all knowledge. I have started to write some of them down as I am sure the time will come where I forget.
Things have changed quite a bit since I began my Farm Bureau career. Back in 1996, Investment Clubs had become a big thing. Also night meetings were well attended and planned for the winter months. I have to say that winter is certainly not the busy time around our office. Today it seems like a greater portion of my job is focused on public relations and what a better time of year to do it than during the summer. Educating the non-farm public is very important as more and more generations are further removed from the farm. Even at my house, Tucker has never had the farm experiences that I had growing up. Ag in the Classroom is a huge push more than ever because of the children not having those experiences we did. It is important for them to know their food does not come from the grocery store, it is just purchase there!
I am anxious to see what will have changed seven years from now. Will we have an office or will I be working from home with my cell phone (if they are still around) and a laptop? What will our membership look like as fewer and fewer are farming? I am going to go out on a limb and say that with the improvements in technology, offices will no longer be a necessity. Only time will tell and unless I win the lotto or move to a warmer climate, I will be here.
Farm Bureau Classifieds
Carroll County Farm Bureau members can place up to two (2) free classified ads per week, with a limit of 250 characters per ad (not including spaces). Ads are limited to personal or farm items for sale/wanted to buy, or farm labor or services available or wanted. No ads for the sale or rental of real estate, garage sales, or commercial businesses will be accepted. To place an ad, call the Farm Bureau office at 815- 244-3001 by noon Friday to get your ad in the following week’s paper.