As we approach the annual meeting in Savannah, Ga., I am reminded how I went from an attendee to 2019 president of NAICC. Before I was a member of NAICC, at Centrol’s winter meetings, I recall several of my coworkers discussing NAICC and how much they enjoyed being part of a professional organization, including attending the annual meeting.
In 2012, I attended my first meeting in Reno, Nev., and have attended every meeting since. Joining NAICC has been one of the best things I have done professionally, as well as personally. I know the friendships I’ve gained are those that will be lifelong. The work NAICC does for consultant, research and quality assurance professionals (QA) surpasses that of any other professional organization in North America.
A Collective Passion
The first few years after I joined NAICC, I discovered that “fire” for the organization. Each year, I would arrive home from the NAICC annual meeting and feel professionally charged up and ready to light the world on fire. As time passed, and I returned to my work and personal routine, I found the “fire” waning, and the embers had a steady glow. Soon, those embers would go out only for the “fire” to return the next January during the annual meeting. After being asked to serve on the consultant education committee, I found that the involvement with NAICC could be yearlong, and those embers kept glowing. Being involved encourages me to continue to push myself professionally and serve a national organization that, in turn, serves its membership.
Opportunity To Get Engaged
NAICC wouldn’t be a successful organization without independent contractors. The organization only has one full-time contractor—our executive vice president Allison Jones. Allison and our new membership services coordinator, Donna Landis, are charged with an assortment of daily items to run NAICC. The operation of the organization requires hundreds of hours to plan the annual meeting; participate with policy work in Washington, D.C.; and continue educating and advocating for our members who are consultants, researchers and QA professionals.
The organization requires the help of more than 100 volunteers year in and year out.
NAICC has 19 committees in which members can become involved. NAICC provides plenty of opportunities to serve, and volunteering your time will be time well spent.
So What’s your Role?
I write all of this to ask you the following. What do you do for NAICC, for your state organization, for yourself? We in agriculture are well-versed at becoming complacent when an issue doesn’t take place in our backyard. An insect resistance issue that a consultant faces in California may mean nothing to a QA in Manitoba. Unfortunately, when one does not pay attention to seemingly minor issues, individuals who don’t agree with our industry practices soon take advantage of the situation. This may cause the public to question our very industry. Eventually, laws may be created to tell us how, what, when and where we can manage our crops, though it may not be in anyone’s best interest.
We need to be the cheerleaders for agriculture, promote our livelihood and extend our knowledge to our friends within the community we live in and our nation. A simple way to start being that cheerleader is getting involved in our organization, whether it’s sitting on a committee or helping at the annual meeting.
My question to you as a member of NAICC—are you complacent, or are you helping further NAICC, agriculture and yourself?