This January, Kyle got off the farm and in front of an audience for two ag-tourism conferences.
His first speech was at the Wisconsin Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference in the Dells, where he gave a presentation titled "Success: It's More Than Just Growing." His talk focused on expanding business outside of the fields, finding new experiences, and trying out new ideas to keep adapting to a changing customer base and a rapidly moving industry. As Kyle says, in this industry, you have to be willing to completely adjust your whole mindset to keep being successful, a message he passed on to all attending.
At the same conference, he also partnered with Marshfield Farm Safety Institution to talk about crisis and disaster management. They specifically focused on a real-life event that happened here last year, when a tornado siren went off during one of our weddings. Luckily, the tornado did not come anywhere near our guests, but it made for a valuable workshop on how to create plans for unknown or crisis situations and how to plan and prepare for the worst.
Photos by the Wisconsin Agricultural Tourism Association.
Kyle then turned around and headed to Iowa for their Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference, where he was the keynote speaker. On Thursday, he gave a presentation about our wedding and events business, chatting with other ag-tourism professionals about all the things we've learned in the past three years, our system and processes, and how to manage a catering and beverage business. At his keynote address on Friday, he talked about our Farm's history and where that history will take us in the future.
Although Kyle really enjoys the opportunity to share our story, he's now happily back on the farm in his yellow t-shirt, planning to get back to where it all started: those sweet Wisconsin fields.