Ag Council Leadership Retreat offers AGEC students a chance to interact with industry professionals

Written by Kendell Combs

Some members of the Agribusiness Club attended the Agricultural Council Leadership Retreat cosponsored by Land O’Lakes Inc. that was held on the evening of the College of Agriculture Spring Career Fair. Emma Wischmeier, Emily Jones, and Grant Mohler were three of these AGEC students who attended the event where they had the opportunity to engage with Land O’Lakes representatives as well as panelists from the agriculture industry. These panelists included Jim Schwartz, Marissa Streitmatter, and Indiana Senator Brian Buchanan.

After attending the retreat, Emma Wischmeier (Sophomore; Agribusiness Management; Columbus, IN) viewed leadership at a new angle. She appreciated how the panelists answered each question with honesty, confidence, and life experience. The thing that stood out the most during the presentation Heidi Riese, Land O’Lakes College Relations Event Specialist, gave was the concept that a title or position does not define you as a leader and you can serve as a leader in many different capacities. “It is important that students take the time to attend conferences, retreats, and sessions that hone leadership skills. These events offer an opportunity to become a better leader by presenting a unique perspective or idea that you may not have come up with on your own or build upon skills you already have.”

Emily Jones (Junior; Agribusiness Management; New Palestine, IN) also enjoyed the way the speakers defined leadership. “Leadership doesn't necessarily mean that you have to be the "boss" in every situation it means that you take responsibility in helping others achieve success.” Emily learned that everyone can become a leader if their priority is to help others. Of the panelists, Mr. Schwartz was the one Emily enjoyed the most because of his insight on how a person can only achieve true success once they start living their life to serve other people. This is something she has already found to be true and has helped her throughout her time as an undergraduate student at Purdue University.

Grant Mohler (Sophomore; Sales and Marketing; Rossville, IN) believes that attending events like this one help you grow you as a person mentally, spiritually, and socially. “These events also allow you to meet new people that share the same passion for helping people and being successful in life, as well as in agriculture.” He also enjoyed the insight Mr. Schwartz shared during the Q&A session because Mr. Schwartz showed him ways that he can incorporate his core values in life into using them to be successful in the agriculture industry. “When you like where you work and what you do, not only are you happier in life, but you are more successful at your job.”

Interested in attending an Agricultural Council Leadership Event? Ask a club within the College of Agriculture you are involved with to see how you can attend the next one during the fall semester.

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