The Ohio AgriBusiness Association will welcome Shirley Brooks-Jones as the Industry Dinner keynote speaker at the 2020 OABA Industry Conference, set for Jan. 29-31.
A native of Vinton County, Ohio, Brooks-Jones was an administrator and fundraiser at Ohio State University for nearly 35 years, retiring with emeritus status. In addition to interacting with local, state and federal entities, she was also involved with OSU programs in India, Brazil, Somalia, Uganda, Poland, Colombia, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. Following her retirement, a portion of Brooks-Jones’ time has been devoted to volunteer activities, both long- and short-term.
Generosity begets generosity
Brooks-Jones’ life was forever changed when her plane returning from Europe was diverted to Newfoundland, Canada on Sept. 11, 2001, following the terrorist attacks in the United States. She and her fellow passengers experienced the boundless hospitality of the locals, which in turn inspired the passengers to launch a scholarship initiative for the youth of the community. To date, 291 students have received the scholarship, which was initiated June 21, 2002. Brooks-Jones’ experience and that of the other passengers on the flight formed the basis of the current Broadway musical “Come From Away.”
“The events of Sept. 11 touched lives in many different ways, and Shirley’s story is sure to resonate with attendees at the Industry Dinner,” says Chris Henney, OABA president and CEO. “Shirley’s unique experience will inspire attendees to look for ways to give back to their own communities and beyond.”
Risk management, other topics to be covered
The OABA Industry Conference, set for Jan. 29-31, in Columbus, is packed with respected speakers and industry professionals, who will share their expertise on a variety of topics relating to agronomy, grain and feed, safety and more. In addition to the keynote, the conference features a wide array of general and breakout sessions.
Two conference enhancements are available to attendees this year: the Safety and Risk Management pre-event day on Jan. 29 and the Advancing Modern Professionals for Tomorrow (AMPT) leadership program on Jan. 31.
Continuing education units (CEUs) are available for both certified crop advisers and state licensed pesticide applicators who attend the conference.
All-inclusive registration for the event covers admission to the two main days of educational programming (Jan 30-31); all meals, including the Industry Networking Reception and Dinner; and the OABA annual meeting.
Registration fees are member, $275 ($350 after Jan. 10); and nonmember, $425 ($500 after Jan. 10). Visit oaba.net/events_conference to see the conference agenda, for more information and to register. Individual day and reception/dinner-only registrations are also available, as are exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities.
Hotel accommodations for the Renaissance Columbus Westerville-Polaris Hotel in Westerville may be made online at the website listed above or by calling 614-791-1000. The OABA hotel block reservation deadline is Jan. 10.