The First Few Months of 2018

Can you believe it is 2018!! So much has happened in a few months.

  • FarmTech 2018: After chatting on the phone for the past few months, I could meet my mentor, Brennan, face-to-face. It was great to sit down and chat about leadership in the workplace and how I can advance my leadership roles within work. With that the conference was very well organized with multiple interesting breakout sessions that made it hard to choose what to attend. Usually no seats available means attend a different session but some people still wanted to hear so they stood. A few talks hit home the Importance of Work Life Balance presented by Linda Duxbury, where she was able to bring fun to a morning presentation and listed ways to make your own balance in work and life where and when to just turn off the phone. A talk from Ann-Charolette Wallenhammar about clubroot in Sweden has changed and what they have learned from their research. How many over quarter of a million spores can be on one muddy boot, completely incredible since we live in a county that has nearly a million acres of cultivated land with some clubroot presence.

  • As a group we attended Leadership training, through the Leadership Centre out of Sylvan Lake. We are as a group of mentees and our Alberta Wheat and Barley counterparts attended the three sessions over the last three months. Here we were able to learn more about personalities in our workplace and how to interact more productively with everyone’s diverse personality. I am an influencer, which means I am outgoing, enthusiastic, optimistic, high-spirited and lively. Those creative words do describe me, most of the time, but it is still hard to wrap my head around this, as this isn’t how I feel I portray myself at work all the time. We were urged to read the book by Stephen R. Covey The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It helps open your mind to the understanding of leadership and that we require both mental, physical states to acquire it.

Figure 1: Stacked the cups with an elastic band and 3 strings - Champions even though the communication was a bit rough.

  • With this being an Olympic year, it made me think about my heroes growing up. Of course, I could go on and on about my grandparents and parents: life values that they taught me, but my all my childhood heroes wore skates. They taught me never to give up and to follow my dreams. Who didn’t fall in love the ice dance pair Tessa & Scott, they were mesmerizing throughout all of their programs. Their teamwork and support for each other is amazing. I first became interested in the sport when ice dance pair Shaylynn Bourne and Vitok Kratz participated. I remember making a portfolio on about them for a school project back in grade 3. I would have to say that they helped fuel my fire to continue skating and eventually move into hockey.

  • Humbolt Broncos, the heartbreak that touched the world. I cannot say that I knew anyone personally on the team, but I did play high calibre hockey for eight years that involved traveling throughout Western Canada on a bus. My mentor, Brennan wrote an article and within the article this quote, “And after that game, win or lose, you gotta get back on that bus. Yes, you get to see your family or friends for a few minutes – They also traveled a few hours to see you play.” After this accident former teammates reached out to each other just to mention how much our time together on each bus meant to one another. Our life wouldn’t be the same without the family we created over the years. We have plenty of funny stories from the bus and how some night drives home could have gone much differently. I am thankful for my teams from the NEA Steelers and the University of Saskatchewan Huskies just remember that it’s a great day to be alive (Travis Tritt) and always dance when you hear footloose.

  • AmazingAG with Alberta Wheat, busy yet rewarding at the same time. I can honestly say that teaching the Classroom Agricultural Program (CAP) seems like a breeze compared to these full day sessions at the Northlands Expo. It is free educational experience designed to teach grade four students from the greater Edmonton area, through interactive stations, about our province’s agricultural industry and where their food comes from. Alberta Wheat has a booth “Wally’s World of Wheat” where the kids can walk through the stages of wheat from growing, processing, to market. They are physically able feel wheat kernels with their hands, mill wheat into flour and feel the dough that was made from the flour they had just ground. From there they are able to go shopping in for products that would contain wheat.

Figure 2: AmazingAG 2018

To anyone reading this, feel free to reach out with questions about the program or just follow our future farm changes through my Twitter handle: @KelseyFenton.

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Twitter: @AdvancingAg