A great council leadership orientation meeting in Raleigh, N.C., in January! 

eConnectivity Matters

The Hidden Benefits of  Volunteering

By Wendy Smith, AgGateway President & CEO

The most enjoyable aspect of my job – and the one where I feel most privileged to serve – is working with the many AgGateway volunteers who raise their hands and take on leadership positions in councils, committees, projects and other working groups. What I’ve noticed over the years is that these volunteers come in many personality types – from outgoing to introverted, from upbeat to a bit gruff, from seasoned leaders to young managers just getting their start. But there are two things they all have in common: a commitment to eConnectivity in agriculture and related sectors, and a desire to work together to achieve that eConnectivity. These traits of commitment and collaboration are at the heart of what makes AgGateway successful. And they’re also extremely rewarding to experience in action.

This month as we held our annual Council Leadership Orientation session with some of these leaders, I was struck again by how they demonstrate the benefits of involvement in AgGateway activities. Some benefits are obvious, but many are not. Here’s a partial list:

Benefits to You (the extremely important volunteer!)

  • Develop your leadership skills and experience (team building, running effective meetings, etc.).
  • Move forward initiatives that are meaningful to you and to your business.
  • Gain experience in crafting and executing strategic plans.
  • Enhance your contacts and professional resources.
  • Experience the satisfaction of moving an industry initiative forward that may have significant positive impact.
  • Positive exposure: career-building experience serving in an industry leadership role.

Benefits to Your Company

  • The means to move forward initiatives that are meaningful to your company's business and which help you become more efficient, productive and profitable. 
  • The ability to influence AgGateway’s direction and champion initiatives important to your company.
  • Establish professional contacts.
  • Access to resources that add valuable knowledge, and that allow your company to be more successful.
  • Develop relationships that may translate into new business opportunities.
  • Leadership Development: providing an excellent skills-building experience, which enhances the volunteer’s value to your company.
  • Positive exposure: your company is seen as a major participant in the critical work of  eConnectivity.

One hidden benefit not on the list: AgGateway leaders are a fun, generous, welcoming group to be with. If you are new to AgGateway or just now considering “raising your hand”, I encourage  you to get involved. Make 2017 the year you discover the hidden benefits of greater involvement in AgGateway!