We have all heard the saying “the more things change the more they stay the same.” In many ways that is true. Those core principles and fundamentals that agriculture has been built around, have and will stand the test of time. One could argue that during times of tremendous change these foundations are more important than ever.

The velocity of change we are experiencing is unparalleled. However, as we move forward, these changes will pale in comparison to what lies ahead. A few questions for consideration might be: How do we manage change in this environment? What will the changes be? How is technology and access to information changing the everyday life of our consumers? How do we adapt to customer expectations? How will our clientele change over the next five, 10 or 20 years? How will I change during that same time frame? Or perhaps, do I want to change? The questions could go on and on.

Success during these times involves not only a renewed commitment to continued growth but also the critical skill of foresight. Foresight allows you to identify weaknesses within your business or potential threats to how things are done today. When implemented properly, foresight also allows you to identify the opportunities that change brings. Change won’t come to our foundation and core principles but will come in a variety of ways ranging from technology to consumer needs and expectations.

I always find coming together with industry associates is extremely helpful and beneficial to explore what others are doing in the midst of the change in their respective markets. Sharing with others allows us an opportunity to break out of our boxes and view these changes, whether we perceive them as positive or negative, from a different perspective. This helps us identify changes taking place before our very eyes that we are often slow to recognize.

I would encourage everyone to consider attending the upcoming ASFMRA Summer Education Week. This is one of the best opportunities we have as an industry to come together and learn. This year the meeting is being held July 14-18, in Omaha, Neb. Whether you are looking to explore job opportunities within the industry, work toward obtaining your accreditation or looking to expand your book of knowledge, there is something for everyone. Please check out the offerings today at www.asfmra.org

Summer Education Week also gives us an opportunity to be with some of the industry’s best and brightest, share knowledge, renew old friendships and make new ones. Who knows, you might just learn a few things or possibly form new partnerships and alliances for future business together.

Bringing together the best in the business allows us to continue to grow as professionals, as businesses and as an organization to make sure we sharpen our skills, including that of foresight. Knowledge provides a foundation but foresight allows us to navigate change. The decisions made with the right foresight and vision will create a better future for clients, companies, employees, families and ultimately our communities.