Around here, we do our best to stay up with the times. One way that we keep up is through our membership in the National Hay Association. John has been a member of the NHA since 1993 and has served on the Board of Directors since 2008. This organization is made up of hay producers, brokers, dealers, exporters, and those interested in the hay trade business.
What Happens at NHA Conventions?
Twice a year, members from all over the country gather for the Annual Convention and the Board of Director’s Mid-Year Meeting. Each convention consists of meetings to conduct the regular business of the NHA, as well as local farm tours and recreational activities including fishing derbies and golf tournaments. Local equipment dealers will bring equipment to the farms to show off their latest lines. Businesses are able to set up booths for members to peruse showcasing their products or new technologies targeted to those in the hay business.
The conventions are great places for networking with others and picking up new ideas. Producers can compare processes with other producers and learn how hay is made in different climates. Brokers can connect with more end customers. Dealers can discuss what their customers are really looking for out of their equipment.
Every year I pick up at least one bit of information that improves our hay-making process in some way.
Where are the NHA Conventions Held?
John and Denise have been going to conventions since 1993 and routinely bring all or some of their kids along. The interesting locations all around the country make great family vacations, and we try to do some sightseeing before or after the festivities. The Russell’s have been to conventions in South Padre Island, Texas; Palm Desert, California; Savannah, Georgia; Lexington, Kentucky; and the Virgin Islands just to name a few. As a result, the kids have been able to visit Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone, see redwood trees and gray whales, and tour Alcatraz and the Alamo.
The upcoming 122nd Annual Convention will be held in Canandaigua, New York, in the Finger Lakes region. A tour of a robotic dairy farm and a trip to Niagara Falls are on the agenda. This year will be the first year that a grandchild will be in attendance!
The Russell’s have gotten so much more than just yearly family vacations from being members of the National Hay Association. Our business has benefited from the people we have met, as well as the tips and tricks we have learned to give us a better understanding of the hay business as a whole. If you are interested in becoming a member, visit http://www.nationalhay.org/ or contact John. New members are always welcome and enrich the entire organization.