I had my first official work day as the Student Leadership Coordinator for the Veterinary School Summer Leadership Program! Like any good first day on a job, most of my time was spent getting a tour of the facilities, filling out paperwork, and being brought up to speed on my responsibilities and projects that are coming down the pipe! It will be an extremely interesting experience and I’m excited to dive right in and start contacting the students who will be participating in this program throughout the summer! The atmosphere at work is pretty easy going and I’m going to get to work with some very amazing people. I’m excited to see how I grow and am challenged throughout my time in this position; it should definitely keep me busy!
Archive for February, 2012
If you are wondering if I might have accidentally pressed a few random keys when I typed in the blog title, I can assure you that each letter is meant to be there! I have spent the last three days at the 2012 American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Young Farmer and Rancher (YF&R) Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. AFBF is an organization that provides a voice for the people in the agricultural industry, predominantly farmers and ranchers, by understanding current production practices and current issues as well as agricultural policies that effect these practices and current issues. The Young Farmer and Rancher’s division is a place where beginning farmers can let their voice be heard and discuss the trials and successes of their operations in the agricultural industry. While I would love to one day start my own honeybee operation, I am not a production agriculturalist yet so the question “Why did you go?” is an expected and valid inquiry. My role at this conference was to represent New York State in the Collegiate Discussion Meet.
The Collegiate Discussion Meet is an event that is supposed to imitate the way a committee would be run; the people on the committee discuss a topic and try to come up with an overall conclusion, solution, or agreement. I really enjoy this type of event because it is not as strict as a debate where each person or team is only allowed to make an argument in favor of his or her side. I enjoy being able to bring up valid considerations on both sides of the issue and then working in a cooperative way to come to a consensus on the issue. It also helps that the issues are always current and relevant to the agricultural industry!
While I really enjoyed the event, unfortunately I was not able to make it passed the first round and did not do as well as I would have liked. The speed of the competition along with the extremely competitive nature was not what I was expecting and really rattled me to the point where my normal confidence and excitement dwindled. Despite all of these factors, I would take part in this event again; I would just be a little more prepared for the style and competitiveness of the other participants!
Among keynote speakers, banquets, award ceremonies, and breakout informational sessions, I also was able to get away from the hotel and tour three facilities that represent a major part of what Grand Rapids (and Michigan as a whole) is all about! Our first stop was the GM Plant in Lansing, Michigan (birthplace of the wonderful Russ Nalley)! This plant specializes in producing the GMC Acadia, the Chevy Traverse, Saturn Outlook, and Buick Enclave. It was really amazing to walk through the process and watch the vehicle transform from the outer shell to a fully functional vehicle. In one day, this plant produces 400 vehicles! Another amazing fact about this plant is that it is the only vehicle manufacturing plant in the world that has received a LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Gold Certification. Our next stop had us traversing the rural roads to the Heffron Farm Market. This is a family-owned cattle-calf operation that has found its niche market. The Heffron family, in 1980, opened a market store on their property so they could sell their natural beef products. Over the years, they have expanded and now operate two additional markets right in the city of Grand Rapids where they offer their consumers custom cutting (e.g. cut to order) as well as information regarding their practices. One of the family members addressed a question regarding concerns of people or groups that do not agree with their agricultural practices coming on to the farm and making trouble for them. The family member explained that he (and his family) had nothing to hide and some people, no matter how safe and well-cared for your animals are, will never agree with the production practices; yet those people who want to learn more should not miss out just because there is a small chance of difficulty. The final place we visited was Carbon Energy’s ethanol plant. This ethanol plant produces 140,000 gallons of ethanol each day. All of the solid corn mash that is left from this process is used by local hog, cattle, and poultry producers are used as part of the feedstuffs for these animals.
All in all it was a great weekend in the beautiful city of Grand Rapids! Now that I’m back in Ithaca it is time to buckle down and start getting caught up on my work! I’ll write again soon!
After a total of about 12 hours of work, I have successfully uploaded my first ever YouTube video! I would have preferred to embed it in the blog but that far exceeds my abilities. I hope you enjoy the video and don’t mind my amateur cinematic skills!
While you are enjoying this video, I’ll be flying to Grand Rapids, Michigan to compete in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer & Rancher Collegiate Discussion Meet contest! We are staying in a green hotel and I will try to keep you updated along the way! Wish me luck
I’ve been working for three days to try and edit my recording of chimes practice to share with you! Unfortunately I have not been able to shrink the file size so it will be supported on the server. I’m hoping that I will be able to post it by Friday because its awesome! So please bear with me as I seek out advice from a more technologically savy person!
As I’ve mentioned in some of my other recent blogs, the internship search is on. College students and even some high school students are on the hunt for the perfect summer internship that allows for a balance of securing funds, providing useful work experience, and time to relax and actually enjoy the summer season! It’s weird to be able to say this, but I have already accepted an internship offer (and it’s only the 2nd week of February)! I will be serving as the Cornell Vet School’s Student Leadership Program Coordinator for the Leadership Program for Veterinary Students. This program brings twenty veterinary students from across the world together for a summer of research projects, lectures, and exposure to fantastic opportunities for leadership in the veterinary field. I get to coordinate all of the events, serve as a “resident advisor” for the housing site, and plan our visit to Washington D.C.
The best part of this internship is that I don’t have to wait until after classes to start it! Since there are so many details and facets to the program, I get to spend my spring semester familiarizing myself with the program and asking questions so I can hit the ground running when students arrive. I am really excited that I have been given this opportunity and that this will allow me to challenge my skills and to continue to grow my abilities as a professional in the agricultural field!
My name is Kaylie Ackerley, I am an American, and for the first time in my 21 years of life, I watched a Superbowl. To answer a common question, no I was not deprived as a child. The superbowl never held much interest to me in the past. However, after painstakingly choosing my line-up in order to beat my opponent in Fantasy Football for sixteen weeks, it seems fitting to bring the season to a close by watching Superbowl XLVI. I sat through a relatively close and exciting game yet all the while couldn’t help thinking, “What makes this so great?” I mean I always hear about the commercials or the halftime show of the superbowl and while Madonna did put on a good show, I’m not entirely sure what I’ve been missing all these years! If you have any thoughts, feel free to clue me in! Congratulations to the New York Giants and all of the fans out there who have cheered them on to their victory and new title of “world champions” (another point I don’t quite understand). Now I’m on my way to finish my readings for classes tomorrow so I can go to bed!
Have you ever walked through Cornell’s campus around 1 p.m. and heard the song “A Whole New World” ringing out? I have and during my junior year I found out that I could actually be the person playing “A Whole New World!” It is the chimesmaster, a small group of individuals who have put in hundreds of hours in mastering the Cornell chimes in McGraw Clock Tower. Unfortunately, the process only happens during the spring semester (which is when I was studying in Sweden); but I held onto my dream of being able to play the chimes.
As of Thursday February 2nd, 2012 I was officially named a compet in the chimesmaster competition! By being “named” I mean that I attended the informational meeting and have signed up for practice times. By March 3rd I need to learn the 3 main Cornell songs as well as the Jenny McGraw Rag (a song that should be played at approximately 190 bpm). I am excited at the prospect of being able to learn to play the chimes and will keep you posted on how my first practice turns out!