I attended the Tenth Annual Nebraska Agri/Tourism workshop in Kearney, Nebraska on February 24, 2015. First I have to say the drive from Grand Island to Kearney was spectacular with the thousands of geese and cranes rising from the Platte River and exercising in the warmth of the rising sun. The sky river of birds extended for miles and miles.
Our morning workshop was with business growth specialist and author, Joe Calhoon. Joe was fantastic and highly motivating! He reinforced my belief that business is about people and meeting their needs. Not just your business’ customers/clients but the employees of your business as well. A book, “On the Same Page” was provided and I came away with many pages of notes and ideas I wrote while listening to Joe Calhoon speak.
I shared my table with two hospitality and culinary students from Central Community College in Hastings, and Garry Clark, the executive director of Cuming County Economic Development in West Point, Nebraska and Betty Sayers of Nebraska Rural Living and the Chicken Dance Trail based in Holdrege, Nebraska.
There were representatives from the Nebraska Economic Development Commission, the Nebraska Tourism Commission and many agri/tourism business owners from around the State of Nebraska. The agri/tourism businesses included a lavendar farm, a nature retreat, a bird watching farm, several wineries, bed and breakfasts, breweries and more.
We had a working lunch listening to speakers including Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts. Governor Ricketts emphasized “Growing Nebraska” by cutting taxes to encourage new business growth and an emphasis on education. I was most impressed by our Governor with what he did after he finished speaking and returned to his place on the podium. The following speaker was from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and a few minutes into her presentation she began to struggle to clear her throat. The Governor discreetly asked for a glass of water and took it over to her. Returning to his seat he looked out at the audience and commented, “I am a full service Governor” much to our delight! It was a thoughtful, caring thing for him to do.
Joe Calhoon returned as the keynote speaker and spoke to us about how to “Build a remarkable business and live an extraordinary life”. He reminded us of how lucky we are to live in this time and this place and to have the opportunities we have to make the world a better place for ourselves and for others.
Four different sessions were held in the afternoon with different focus and concerns including safety, financial opportunities for your business, farm transitions and how a “little” farm business can become world known.
It was good workshop and I thank the Nebraska Tourism Commission for putting it all together.
Nebraska is a wonderous place in the world to live.