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News and analysis on the global poultry
and animal feed industries.
on February 3, 2011

IPE education session focuses on leadership, advocating agriculture

Promoting agriculture is an industry-wide responsibility

The 2011 International Poultry Expo's educational program, sponsored by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, highlighted industry leadership and the best ways to advocate agriculture to the public.

Lee Cockerell, the former executive vice president of operations at Walt Disney World Resort, spoke about the importance of solid leadership. "If you create an environment where the employees want to come to work, then they will want to take care of the customer," said Cockerell. "Management is how to do, leadership is how to be."

Matt Lohr, the Virginia commissioner of agriculture, said that advocating for agriculture is an industry-wide responsibility. Since many consumers have little knowledge of modern farming practices, inaccurate portrayals of agricultural practices by advocacy groups have been accepted by many, said Lohr. This means that all those involved in modern agriculture need to share the success story of U.S. agriculture.

Trent Loos, a Nebraska cattle rancher, columnist and radio personality, agreed. "We need to put time into the leadership activities and celebrate what agriculture has accomplished in this country," said Loos. "There is a disconnect with consumers because we have not extended the invitation to educate the public. There is a disconnect because we have allowed there to be one. We all need to step up to the plate in situations where we are not comfortable and have conversations about our businesses with others." 

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