Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Guest Blog: Tell your story!

 Me, Andi, and Caitlin
 (Both attended NAYI for the past 2 years, so proud of these girls!)

 So one of my favorite events was this last week here in Lincoln; the Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute (NAYI). I was lucky enough to attend it the two years as a delegate and got the priviledge to serve as a Counselor for two more years. But today my good friend Caitlin, who attended NAYI last week as a Returning Delegate, wrote a blog about her experience with NAYI and what it means to her!

Hey all! My name is Caitlin Ohnoutka and I am from Valparaiso, Nebraska. I recently had the opportunity to attend the 41st Annual Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute (NAYI) for a week on UNL’s East Campus. NAYI is a week long conference for Nebraska juniors and seniors to come learn about Nebraska’s agriculture! This year there were around 160 delegates that attended and also 3 delegates from Taiwan! This institute is planned and counseled by the Nebraska Agriculture Youth Council (NAYC), which consisted of 18 dedicated college students from across Nebraska.

The great group of Counselors (NAYC)
All the delegates at NAYI
NAYI is filled with many group discussions about various commodities, current agriculture issues, farm management competition, and is highlighted by the State Dinner with keynote speaker, Governor Dave Heineman. (HSUS, if I were you, I’d watch out for that man…) Many of these discussions are interactive and also give you many success tips, such as how to network, how to present yourself as a professional, and how to overcome the dreaded “I don’t know which bread and drink is mine” at formal meals.
All the delegates are divided into 8 smaller groups with 2 head counselors.
This was my group!

If you ask many of the delegates, aside from meeting 159 new friends, the highlight of their week is listening to “Advocates for Agriculture”, Troy and Stacy Hadrick. Troy and Stacy are a young farm & ranch family from South Dakota, who travel the country and Australia telling their story about the importance of agriculture. The Hadrick’s have seen first hand the destructive power of the media and have also learned the influential power of social media. In my opinion, the best piece of advice the advocates gave was: “There are too many people out there trying to tell your story. If you want your story told, you better do it yourself.” So begin developing your 30-second elevator speech and get your story out there!

The delgates listening to Troy and Stacy Hadrick
The delegates during a session
NAYI has been an important part of my life the last two years. I’m blessed to have met amazing people, learn how to tell my story, and become an important part of what’s at the core of many Nebraska families, agriculture.

There is always lots of games and 'bonding' time at NAYI

The Street dance on the last night we were in Lincoln

Just your typical farm boy dance off

To learn more about NAYI and NAYC (and see more pictures) visit their website or like their Facebook page!!

1 comment:

  1. Great job Caitlin! Glad to hear NAYI is STILL motivating Nebraska's rural youth to get out and tell their story! Best of luck in college!