March 10 2014 08:05 AM

Here are four reasons to take time away from the farm.

Everyone struggles with taking time away from their daily workload to attend a conference, but it's especially difficult for some dairy farmers to hand the reins over for a few days.

As a dairy farmer, you interact with other local farmers on a regular basis, but ask yourself if these same people help challenge you and your business to be its best. With many dairy events, you are in the presence of other producers of your same caliber, giving you a greater opportunity to discuss challenges and solutions applicable to your operation.

Stepping outside of your comfort zone into new situations is never easy, but it's almost always worth it. Surrounding yourself with the best helps you become the best. So next time an opportunity comes to travel across the country to something new, remember what you, your business and your family have to gain.

Animal Science Monitor recently shared four reasons to attend a conference, and they are spot-on:
  1. Training - Conferences offer the opportunity to expand your knowledge base through a variety of diverse sessions in a multitude of settings. The main point, however, is that the more training you invest in, the more valuable you are to your current employer, as well as to any future employer.

  2. Networking - Who you know in your chosen field can make the difference between exploring new and exciting opportunities and not even realizing those opportunities exist. Time spent between training sessions can be just as enlightening as the sessions themselves. It's during this crucial down time that genuine relationships are started.

  3. Other people's knowledge - In addition to the formal training sessions and meetings, you can also pick up extremely valuable tips and information from the other people attending the conference. These people are among the very best in your line of work, and you can put their experiences to good use by soaking up what they have to offer.

  4. The opportunity to refresh yourself - Attending a conference can actually provide a welcome break from your normal routine. You might find the break to be quite refreshing and rejuvenating, which will lead to more productivity when you return to work.
Ali blog footerThe author, Ali Enerson, was the special publications editor, responsible for books, plans, distribution of the e-newsletter and various internal communication pieces. She grew up on a 60-cow dairy in northwest Wisconsin, and is a graduate of University of Wisconsin–Madison with a degree in life sciences communications.