I have always found interest in agriculture-related tradeshows and conventions that feature a specific venue. Some examples, the Farm Progress Show, Iowa Cattle Industry Convention, Iowa Power Farming Show, World Pork Expo, Commodity Classic, etc. The list can go on and on. Depending on your interest and needs, certain people may attend all or none of them.

For myself, I am interested in a variety of areas of agriculture because of my area of college studies. I try to keep an open mind because I could end up working in any area of agriculture, even something I don’t have much experience in. I think it is important to attend conventions because of the opportunities for networking and further education that is available.

I attended the Iowa Cattle Industry Convention with my dad in early December. This convention was held at the Airport Holiday Inn in Des Moines, IA from December 8-10. I attended the first day in the hopes of gaining some further education in the beef industry. I attended a couple of sessions throughout the day, but was able to gain quite a bit of information from a marketing session.

Paige Wallace led this session, she works for Ranch House Designs, which is a full service graphic design, and advertising firm based in Wharton, Texas, owned and ran by multiple livestock producers. This session gave me some great tips that I will be able to use in my future career and even throughout my spring internship. These tips ranged from social media integration and analytics to advertising placement and organization. An important piece of information Paige mentioned included, “A company should be spending 1 to 5% of it’s gross sales on advertising.”

I am looking forward to attending the Commodity Classic at the end of February in Phoenix, Arizona. I will be working for dataTHRESH, Inc. through an internship where I will be a Marketing Communications Manager. I am excited for the opportunity to meet many farmers and help promote dataTHRESH’s product.

Tradeshows and conventions are a great way to promote a product, meet other farmers/industry professionals and gain knowledge of the agricultural industry. I think it is an important tool for people of all ages to take advantage of.  

Kayla Degner was born and raised in rural Lytton, IA on a diversified grain and livestock family farm. She graduated from Rockwell City-Lytton in May 2012 and currently attends Iowa State University studying Agricultural Communications. Her past involved many agriculture venues. Kayla has a strong interest in advocating to the youth involved in agriculture.

Contact her at [email protected].