Lindsay and I spend another week on the road, this week in beautiful Kansas City, Missouri. KC is like our home away from Columbus because in many ways, it’s the Capitol City of US agriculture. Or at least that’s the way it’s always seemed to me.
Let me explain.
As a young FFA member, the most important event of the year was the National FFA Convention, which you’ll recall spent the better part of 70 years in Kansas City. That meant each November we could look forward to a great bus trip (Remember when bus trips were fun? Ah, the wonder of youth) through Chicago or St. Louis en route to KC. While in town we’d enjoy the lights and sound of Convention in Municipal Auditorium, cheer with the thrill and edge of the Rodeo and Stock Show at the American Royal, and savor the flame and the sizzle of the finest steaks in town at the Golden Ox.
While Convention hasn’t been in Kansas City for over a decade, Lindsay and I still make a Fall pilgrimage to Kansas City for the National Association of Farm Broadcasting and National AgriMarketing Association annual conventions. Held back to back in mid-November, these two meetings are of critical importance in our business.
Lindsay serves this year as Vice President of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting, only the 4th Ohioan in history to hold that post. Her service on the Board brings her to KC often throughout the year, as our Association’s headquarters is just down the road in Platte City. Likewise, I serve on the Board of Directors of the National AgriMarketing Association, headquartered in the KC Metro as well.
We’re staying in the Westin Crown Center, home to the NAFB gathering for over a quarter of a century. I love this hotel, and think it is one of my favorite places we visit away from home each year. The staff here is tremendous, especially long-serving “fan favorites” like Celebrity Doorman “Tall Paul.” Easily the most personable customer service professional in the hotel business, Paul has been welcoming us “Home” to KC for as long as I’ve been coming to this convention, and in truth a lot longer than those five or six years.
Gary Jackson will join us tomorrow along with two of our young interns from Ohio State. We’ll report from the convention as there will be several opportunities to visit with “newsmakers” and opinion leaders throughout the industry. It’s a great week for us; I’m thrilled it’s finally here.