May 4, 2023

Networking, growth and tan lines

Topic: Education

NDFB had a spectacular presence at the FUSION Conference 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla., earlier this spring. In attendance were YF&R Committee members Ashley Skarsgard and Sheridan Visser; P&E Committee members Heather Lang, Nate Schlief, and Sam Froelich; staff members Joey Bailey, Becca Hennessey, and Alisha Donnelly; NDFB member Dahltin Pahl and nearly 20 representatives from both DSU and NDSU NDFB collegiate groups.

The FUSION Conference brings over 1,000 volunteer leaders from three AFBF program areas – Promotion & Education, Women’s Leadership and Young Farmers & Ranchers. Attendees learn, share and grow together to build a stronger Farm Bureau.

The conference had engaging speakers, breakout sessions and evening events.

Opening speaker Alex Weber, an American Ninja Warrior competitor, kicked off the event with energy and inspiration. His message, the Unstoppable You, encouraged attendees to nail the goals they want to reach and tackle challenges with positivity. AFBF President Zippy Duvall championed the stage Sunday morning sharing his support and appreciation for the great work the various states and committees achieved throughout the year. To wrap up the conference, ESPN sports broadcaster Lauren Sisler captivated the audience by sharing her life battles and how she realized embracing her story and making peace with it had the power to heal, and she could inspire others to do the same.

Throughout the weekend there were multiple breakout sessions; everything from leadership and professional development to farm finances and family succession planning.

Evening events included Saturday’s social and casino night at the library, Sunday night’s program banquets, and Monday night’s Grand Finale at Jaguar Stadium.

Conference attendees were also able to participate in tours, including an opportunity to give back to the community with the North Florida School of Special Education.

NDFB and date in the sand

“I feel we left this event with new friends, new ideas, and new energy to bring back to our own Farm Bureau,” said YF&R Committee Chair Ashley Skarsgard.

“I am incredibly grateful that NDFB sponsors this opportunity for its leaders and volunteers to attend such an incredible event,” said YF&R Committee member Sheridan Visser. “Together we engage in leadership training and professional development, and we build connections and inspiration that will propel NDFB forward as we share these experiences with other state leaders and apply them to our state events.”