While Dr. Miles McKee shared his heartfelt appreciation at the podium during the 2015 LPC Vision event, I looked around the room and couldn’t help but feel slightly overwhelmed and extremely thankful. The joint passion this group shares for the livestock industry and for the people in it is undeniable. It still feels like yesterday that I attended my first LPC event and met Diane Johnson and Angie Denton. And here I am today with the privilege of giving back to this organization by serving on the LPC board under Angie and Diane’s leadership.
It’s an opportunity that I don’t take lightly. After a 3-day strategic planning session and board meeting before the Vision event, I can assure you that the wheels are in motion to continue providing our members with the greatest opportunities possible. And it’s through events like these that we hope to enhance your membership to help you network, grow professionally, and have a little fun, too.
Vision was designed with two major goals in mind. 1) Provide a free educational opportunity for our members and industry friends – this year’s panel of Ryan Goodman, agriculture advocate; Karen Hanson, registered dietician with Hy-Vee; and Margaret Ziegler, Global Harvest Initiative’s Executive Director, explored the safety of our food supply and critical issues ranging from social concerns to economics to marketing. 2) Honor our LPC Hall of Fame award winners Dick and Pete Crow and our LPC Headliner award winner Dr. Miles McKee.
A few hours before the event, I watched Dr. McKee, one of my mentors at Kansas State University, hang his plaque in the LPC Hall of Honor at the American Royal. And then the tears threatened to fall when he walked over and stood by the plaque of Dr. Don Good and quietly whispered, “This is my mentor. He was a good friend. It’s quite something to be hanging on the same wall as he is.”
A few spots further down the wall, my eyes rested on the plaque of the man who hired me into my first position in the livestock industry and provided me with the opportunity to attend my first LPC event – Darrell Anderson. I’m not even going to get started on how he changed my life. That’s another story. But isn’t it a beautiful theme? The livestock industry is powered by people and relationships that span generations. We all are blessed to be a part of this industry because of someone who took the time to show us the way in.
-Jennifer Shike, LPC board member