Saturday, March 5, 2011

Farm Bureau YF Leadership Conference aka Fun in Orlando!!

The first weekend in February, Brad and I got to spend four days in Orlando at the Farm Bureau Young Farmer Leadership Conference. This was our first big event after coming onto the Georgia YF Committee. We had so much fun with our YF friends – and we met plenty of new folks too!

We stayed at the Coronado Springs Resort. I was wondering how it was going to be after reading some reviews on TripAdvisor, but it turned out great. The resort was beautiful, and our room was nice. I would definitely go back again for a family trip.

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The first night we went out with the entire group to an Italian restaurant at the Dolphin & Swan Resort. I had a steak with marinara. It was delicious! I also swiped some of BJ’s caprese salad – yum!

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YF in orlando 0211 (11)Brad walking to the conference center on the first morning – with his YF backpack!

It was good to be with all of the YF Committee members who were abel to make it. We got to know each other better, and Brad and I are looking forward to our future events with them.

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We had several interesting sessions on Saturday and Sunday. Of course, I couldn’t miss the one on social media! They talked about blogging and Twitter, which is a world I have not explored yet. I feel like I’m on my phone enough and don’t need to add another activity to occupy myself. Plus, I’m not all that interesting in lots of words much less 160 characters. I’m not saying “never” though because I said that about teaching, and you see where that got me – for six good, fun years! I’ve learned my lesson.

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Jim Lovell, the astronaut on Apollo 13 who said “Houston, we have a problem,” spoke. He was very interesting. He retold the entire flight of Apollo 13 and how many things had to line up just right for them to get home. God sent them home for a reason; it was certainly a miracle.

I also went to the session about That was neat. The Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has done a fabulous job with that educational gem of a site. I can’t wait to get Blair on there to play and learn more about agriculture – and science, math, English, health.

And how could we go to Disney without visiting a park? We couldn’t! A group of us went to EPCOT one night; we had so much fun.

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The first thing we did was the little agricultural boat ride. We really didn’t even know what it was, but we could have all gone home and been happy after that!

YF in orlando 0211 (25)Squash growing in experimental design.

YF in orlando 0211 (27)Check out those pumpkin hammocks!

YF in orlando 0211 (33)Above ground sweet potatoes.

YF in orlando 0211 (35)Dirtless system.

YF in orlando 0211 (38)Strawberries and a tomato tree.

YF in orlando 0211 (39)Herbs

YF in orlando 0211 (46)Some sort of environment where the plants and fish provide for each other.

Next we did the space mission! I’m glad that we chose the easy mission! (I would have totally done the challenging one and probably would have been car sick for the rest of the night!)

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BJ, Kaci, and Jake waiting for their assignments and Cory and Janie in our ship.

YF in orlando 0211 (53)Brad and I on our ship. It was a tad tight in there.

After eating Mexican, we headed over to do the test track. That was fun!

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YF in orlando 0211 (58)Janie and Cory in the Camaro!

Back at the YF&R Conference, we went on some really neat farm tours. My tour visited two cattle operations. Our first stop was Deseret Cattle Ranch. It’s quite large!

YF in orlando 0211 (80)They had a rattlesnake skin with two rattles hanging in their office.

YF in orlando 0211 (82)A very large gator.

YF in orlando 0211 (86)The guys from Florida who were telling us all about the land around us talked about eating these trees. They chop the top out of them and cook the center meat. They said they do it all the time! I can’t believe I had never heard of that living so close to Florida and visiting there all the time.

In Florida, they usually don’t feed hay in the winter. They have these molasses tanks they use to feed the cows. The molasses heats up the belly of the cow and makes them eat a lot of ruffage to keep weight on them.

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I didn’t take a whole lot of pictures because I can see cows any time I want!

Next we went right across the street to a family run ranch that was still quite large. It also had a sawmill, but they had to shut it down when the economy took the downturn.

They had some beautiful cyprus on the place.

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We drove by a lot of citrus, but we didn’t get to get any. :(

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By far the most fun part of the day was when we saw the little baby gator. It wasn’t five minutes after the ranch owner had just finished telling us about how his son put a gator in the fountain at his college that we spotted this little gator. The next thing we know, that same son – and the other one – are headed out to catch him!

YF in orlando 0211 (98)YF in orlando 0211 (99)YF in orlando 0211 (102)YF in orlando 0211 (104)YF in orlando 0211 (105)YF in orlando 0211 (107)YF in orlando 0211 (108)YF in orlando 0211 (109)Got him!

And I got to hold him!

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The next day, we had to make the trip back home. We sure were excited to see Blair after having been gone for four days. She used two whole bottles of bubbles playing with the bubble gun we brought her!


Unknown said...

Brad needs to grow some watermelons like those Cinderella pumpkins.