Professional development, cattle, networking and fun highlighted the 2014 EDGE Conference June 9 in Urbana at the University of Illinois (U of I). More than 60 individuals participated in this event, hosted by the Illinois Junior Beef Association (IJBA).
Katelyn Jones-Hamlow, recruiter for the U of I Department of Animal Sciences kicked off the event with her message about career opportunities in the beef industry and how to prepare for an education in agriculture. Travis Meteer, U of I Beef Extension Specialist; Christy Couch Lee, CeeLee Communications; and Tonja Egan, U of I veterinary medicine student served as the careers in agriculture panel and shared their passion for working with the beef industry.
Conference participants sharpened their social media skills by live tweeting from the event with Holly Spangler, Prairie Farmer, as she shared the dos and don’ts of agriculture industry advocacy. Aspiring photographers learned how to command their camera from Christy Couch Lee. Jennifer Shike, U of I College of ACES Director of Communications and Marketing, shared the importance of public speaking.
A highlight of the event was the opportunity to participate in hands-on workshops in the Meat Science Lab to learn about carcass grading, beef cuts and fabrication methods, and beef safety. The group also tour the Beef Research Center and learned for U of I faculty and graduate students about the latest beef research methods.