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ICIA Fall 2013 Conaway's Column

ICIA Fall 2013 Conaway's Column09/01/2013

As fall continues to come to an end, everyone in the seed industry takes this time to prepare for winter, as well as reflect on the crop year, and just like every other year, there are several different topics to assess. The seed industry as a whole got a late start to planting, some areas had more challenges than others, but for the most part acres got planted quickly, just really late. The growing season went really well for most areas, although the summer was cooler than average, most areas had adequate rainfall. During late summer and early fall, the rain became scarce and the heat kicked in. The heat was a welcome sight, as it was a big factor in helping mature the late crop. Overall, the year had its traditional peaks and valleys, and most people are putting the finishing touches on harvest. In most cases yields and quality have turned out to be extremely good, which has been helpful for the industry since it started with a short supply.

Harvest might be finishing up for some, but the lab at ICIA is in full swing. The staff continues to work hard, but they have been working even harder since the board finalized and approved the new strategic plan in August. The new plan is challenging, yet at the same time exciting because it outlines 4 specific goals, including measurements and timelines for each goal. The document is structured to be a living and active document which gives the staff, management, and the board of directors objectives to work towards. It is not only structured for the current staff and board, but it will be used to provide some continuity between board meetings, as well as year after year. The board will review and monitor 1 goal at each board meeting, as well as review and discuss the timeline and measurements that go along with each goal. This strategic plan has been in the works for over a year, it has been a large undertaking, and I want thank all who have invested their time in making this plan a great success. It is an important document which will guide the organization for many years to come.

As you prepare for winter, I remind you to mark your calendar for the Corn Belt Seed Conference (CBSC) on February 5th & 6th. This year is slated to be another fantastic conference. If you have never attended the CBSC then this year is a perfect time to start. No other conference delivers these types of relevant topics and caliber of speakers all at one time. The conference will kick off with a pre-conference workshop on February 4th, which will focus on employee development. This is a one of a kind opportunity to provide education and training to all levels of your organization which will help improve the overall success of your organization.