Details of the 2014 NAGA convention in Nashville are taking shape, thanks in a great part to Bill MacFarlane, Speaker Coordinator. Bill took on the job of planning the convention a few years ago to establish the agenda early enough so folks would know the upcoming topics and could plan to attend. He draws from his experience with planning an on-farm educational seminar every two years. The process involves polling the NAGA Board for relevant, timely subjects, compiling a list, rating the subjects and then condensing it down to the most frequently mentioned ideas. He returns to those folks who suggested the topics for ideas on presenters for each area. He devotes time each day to contacting potential speakers by email, finding that most people say yes. This year’s speaker lineup includes, in part, the CEOs of two major NAGA Partnership Organizations: the CEO of Pheasants Forever, Howard Vincent; and new USSA President and CEO, Nick Pinizzotto.
Bill is also investigating having a workshop on Sunday about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for web pages, presented by Mike Kvochick, head of the web service group at D&S Creative, printer for the NAGA News. Dr. Isaac Low, Director of Conservation Leaders For Tomorrow, who is on Staff of the Wildlife Management Institute, will be the speaker concerning this program that influences our future fish and wildlife policy makers. Feed & Feed Costs is a very timely issue of concern to most of us, so we will examine the topic from both sides: understanding the ins and outs of why our feed costs what it does, and Setting Prices with Diane Prichard who works with small farms in Michigan on product price setting. Dr. Fidelis (Fidel) N. Hegngi, DVM, MS of the APHIS Avian Influenza program will update us about what would happen to your farm if avian influenza or another disease was found, requiring depopulating your farm. Would you be ruined? What compensation would/could you receive for your livestock and loss? What do States need to do to implement a program for indemnification?
Alan Roberts and Rich Pieros of the PA Flyers have already encountered extreme animal activists using drones to record their activities and to portray them on YouTube as evil, inept, bloodthirsty pseudo hunters. This seminar is an eye opener for those who think we will continue with the status quo under the current societal trends.
Hiring employees is a constant process in our industry, and will be discussed by long time gamebird producers John Metzer and Bill MacFarlane.
The Preserve breakout topics and speakers will have two panel discussions from industry leaders: Staffing & Customer Service and Accounting, Pricing & Marketing. Sam Ballou will present options in this market for increasing your sales with European Style Hunts. As of the date of this writing we are seeking a dog trainer to give us tips on training these important partners in the hunt.
Producer breakout topics and speakers will include nuts and bolts panel sessions on Flight Pen Cover and Husbandry of Breeder Birds. George Georges from New Generation Poultry Service Technology will cover Rodent Control options and Dr. Eva Pendleton of Penn State will deal with Disinfectants.
Once speakers are confirmed, the list is handed off to Sarah Pope, onsite convention coordintor, currently Sales Coordinator at MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc.
She says, “Over the last three and a half years at MacFarlanes, I have done a vast range of duties and have enjoyed learning the different areas of the game bird industry. I started out in the egg and day-old chick sales department, handling everything from taking orders, arranging deliveries, and shipping eggs and chicks internationally. After a year in the live department, I also assumed the responsibilities of the MacFarlane frozen dressed bird division. I quickly learned that there are vast differences when dealing with lives versus frozen birds.”
“Besides overseeing the sales of MacFarlanes, I travel to various trade shows and seminars, coordinate our booth during the trade shows, and also help with the Bi-Annual MacFarlane Seminar. In order for the shows and seminars to run smoothly, I help with many of the details and logistics of the programs. Recently, I have also entered into our Human Resources department and look forward to what comes up next in my future at MacFarlanes.”
As previously emphasized, the sessions may be great, but the impromptu discussions with long time producers and NAGA members may be an even greater education.
2014 NAGA Educational Conference & Convention Agenda