HLC/AQ sponsored 27 students to attend Co-ops YES! Youth Leadership Conference

Harvest Land & AgQuest sponsored 27 area students from Springfield, Morgan, Comfrey, & Sleepy Eye to attend the Cooperative Network-Co-ops Yes! Youth Leadership Conference in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. 















Young Leaders Learn Cooperatives at Co-ops Yes! Conference in Eau Claire

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (March 26, 2014) — Cooperatives, effective communications, and careers were among the topics explored by 125 young leaders from Minnesota and Wisconsin at the 2014 Co-ops Yes! Youth Leadership Conference at the Holiday Inn in Eau Claire, Wis., March 17–18. Participating high school students, as well as several state FFA officers, were sponsored by nearly 30 cooperatives to attend this year’s event, hosted annually by Cooperative Network.

Co-ops Yes! participants came from 56 towns across Minnesota and Wisconsin. They heard from speakers including Joan Behr, Foremost Farms USA director of communications and brand management, who provided an introduction on cooperatives and had students mastermind their own co-op based on a perceived need in their communities. New cooperative ideas ranged from snow removal to secondhand clothing. Craig Hillier returned with his interactive and inspiring message on “breakthrough leadership,” helping students identify their leadership styles and learn how to work as a team to achieve their goals. David Mann was a new speaker this year and shared practical ways for students to best communicate and make a lasting impact. In breakout sessions, participants also heard about credit union careers, leadership through cooperation, and how a food co-op works, and they enjoyed a hypnotist and dance after a banquet on Monday evening.

The annual Co-ops Yes! Youth Leadership Conference is open to high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors from Minnesota and Wisconsin. Participants are sponsored by their local co-ops and spend two days learning about cooperatives through presentations, case studies, and networking with professionals, while connecting with other student leaders from across both states. The 2014 conference was the last event to be organized by Cooperative Network’s David Erickson, who has led the youth conference for more than three decades and will retire in the coming year. Beth Knudson, who previously worked with the Minnesota Rural Electric Association, has taken on the role as Cooperative Network’s youth education coordinator.

Photos from the 2014 Co-ops Yes! Youth Leadership Conference are available on Cooperative Network’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cooperativenetwork.

Cooperative Network serves more than 600 Wisconsin and Minnesota member-cooperatives by providing government relations, education, marketing, and technical services for a wide variety of cooperatives including farm supply, health, dairy marketing, consumer, financial, livestock marketing, telecommunications, electric, housing, insurance, worker-owned cooperatives, and more. For more information about Cooperative Network, visit www.cooperativenetwork.coop.

Do you have a son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter etc.. that you think would attend the leadership conference? Contact Harvest Land today to learn about about this great leadership opportunity!!! Stay tuned for area student’s papers that we received on what they learned.


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