USPOULTRY Financial Management Seminar attendees safely gathered in a small group in Amelia Island, Florida recently. Safety precautions and protocols were in place, including masks, gloves, sanitizing and six-foot distancing.

 “When people talk to me these days, everyone wants to know three things – where are we, where are we headed and what does all of this mean? That’s what the business sector wants to know, but it’s also what every individual wants to know, sitting at our coffee tables with friends and around dinner tables with our families. No one has the answers to those questions right now,” said Jack Kelly, public policy officer for the McPherson Group in Washington, D.C. 

 Kelly’s Washington Update gave a broad overview of the social, political and global factors creating the unprecedented situation the world is facing in 2020. His approach was pragmatic, directly addressing the reality of the various problems facing the country. However, Kelly ended on an optimistic note by stating, “No matter how long of a night we may face, do not worry – the dawn always breaks eventually.”

 In his Economic Update, Mark Talasaki, consultant at Advance Trading, Inc., also addressed the myriad troubles affecting the economy. He chose to focus on the silver lining, though – the opportunity for the agricultural industry. 


 “People are eating better. They want more pork; they want more chicken; and they want more beef. This rise in consumer demand is happening on a global scale. If you are looking for the positive in 2020, it’s this. It’s a very promising situation for the agriculture industry,” remarked Talaski.

 Jeff Clemons, director of risk and cyber advisory services for Frost PLLC, discussed “IT Business Continuity During a Pandemic.” His presentation detailed the importance of creating and implementing proactive troubleshooting strategies that allow IT departments to remain flexible and maintain the technical needs of businesses in tumultuous times.

 “You have to sit down and talk about this – grab coffee and discuss these plans with your teams at least once a year,” explained Clemons. “What do you do if you are hit with a cyberattack and your IT manager is out sick? By including all team members in these discussions, you empower them to be part of the solution. Make them understand that each of them, as individuals, are an important part of these conversations. The plan may start at upper management, but it relies on the involvement of these IT technicians that you rely on every day.”