By Christy Lee, Cee Lee Communications, 2018-2019 AAEA President
Our family truck and trailer pulled into the drive from our final summer show this weekend. We’re all a little run down from weeks of being on the road – to Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma and around Illinois – showing Hereford cattle.
It’s expensive. It’s exhausting. But the rewards and life lessons for our children are more than worth it.
And looking back on our show season, the positives and smiles most definitely overshadow any struggles.
The same is true for my year serving as your AAEA – The Agricultural Communicators Network president. Some of the work is anything but glamorous. But looking back, I see great accomplishments as an organization and excitement for the years to come.
We’ve had to roll up our sleeves this year and take a hard look at the budget. We were forced to get a bit creative in providing the top-notch programs our organization has grown to appreciate and deserve, while trimming extra expenses. And we did it – bringing our budget back into the black again.
The rewards have been incredible. We have continually expanded our professional development opportunities for members. Thanks to the Special Interest Group (SIG) chairpersons, numerous webinars have been made available to our members, covering a wide range of topics relevant to our careers. As well, our podcast that provides educational and insightful content recently celebrated its first birthday.
It took an incredible team to plan and host the 2019 International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) Congress in conjunction with our Agricultural Media Summit in Minneapolis, Minn., in July. I only heard positive comments from our guests from around the world. It truly was a top-notch event, and that’s 100% due to our talented and passionate membership.
And 2020 brings great excitement for our organization, as we celebrate AAEA’s 100th anniversary. Stay tuned for some tremendous professional development opportunities in conjunction with the celebration, as well as a few fun surprises, too.
As always, the greatest asset of our organization is our members. Our greatest asset is you. And without you, AAEA would be nothing. If you’re looking for a “home” in AAEA, we have one for you. Please reach out to any board member, committee chairperson or SIG leader at any time – we would love to have your input and expertise. It truly takes all of us to make this organization the asset it is.
Thank you for entrusting me with this role for the past year. It’s been an honor. And the organization is in tremendous hands with your 2019-20 president, Gil Gullickson.
Let’s keep putting in the work and the miles to make AAEA – The Agricultural Communicators Network the top-notch organization it is.
There’s no greater satisfaction than to look back on all we’ve accomplished – a little tired, a little dusty – and know that it all has been for the good.