Awestruck might be a good description for me following the opening evening activities at my first outing as the new ZimmComm intern. After arriving in Lexington, Kentucky for the Alltech International Symposium, I got dressed up and headed to the dinner that featured salmon, table company from Africa, and fabulous singers. It was a far cry from dinner at the dorm cafeteria. However, I only felt out of place for a few minutes. The gathering of nearly 2,500 seemed to shrink very quickly when I realized I had connections with some of the attendees. I ran into a few people from Kansas and a few people with connections to my interest area, the dairy industry. It was a lot of fun to meet people who I could relate to and who write articles and blogs that I read.
In addition to making some great connections, I had the opportunity to really jump in and get my hands dirty as far as writing and reporting goes. I had a lot of chances to conduct interviews, take pictures and tweet about the sessions at the symposium. Probably my favorite part of reporting was getting to listen to the sessions on the future of nutrition, marketing and scientific development that will shape agriculture in 2020. If you missed our reports on the symposium, you can find our coverage of the event here.
The people were great to meet, the science was intriguing, but the biggest take away for me was a message that Dr. Pearse Lyons delivered several times throughout the symposium, “Don’t get it right. Get it started.” Fitting I think that this was a point of emphasis at my first reporting assignment. So maybe I’m not doing it right, but at least I’ve started.