Annual Meeting and White Castles

Posted on Nov 21, 2013

Each year as the Kentucky Farm Bureau Annual Meeting approaches, it reminds me of one thing – White Castle Hamburgers. Yes, I’m talking amount those small burgers with holes in the patties and cooked on a bed of onions. I'm sure you would like an explanation, and to do that, we need to go back a few years… ok, we need to go back about 15 years actually. Back to my days growing up in Green County.

Cue the faint harp music and the wavy scene change.

Growing up, my parents always attended the Annual Meeting at the Galt House. For those few days my bother Korey and I took up residence at my Nanny’s house (that would be Dad’s mother). And for those days it was Lee’s Famous Recipe for lunch, plenty of candy, and a near endless loop of Disney movies. Simply put -- we lived as kings. But when Nanny informed us that on Saturday night Mom and Dad would be returning, we waited anxiously to hear the car pull up in the drive way.

While staying with a grandparent was fun, we knew the great thing about when your parents go on a trip is the fact there is a 100% chance they will bring you something back.  And considering they had been in Louisville, the town of possibilities, there was no telling what they would have in tow.

Hearing the car doors slam shut was enough to almost force an excited scream from us. Nanny trying to get our coats on us could be likened to trying to nail water to the wall. The anticipation was almost too much. As Mom and Dad entered the room I ran to give them a one armed hug (the other arm was trapped halfway in a sleeve, thanks to Nanny’s shotty work). After big hugs, I stepped back and saw it. In Dad’s other hand was a white paper bag. I knew of only two things came in white paper bags, and I knew they hadn’t been to pick up medicine, so it had to be – WHITE CASTLES.

At this point you’re thinking, “You were that excited for White Castle?” My answer to that is, you obviously have never been to Green County. We considered White Castle an exotic food based on the fact you couldn’t get them in Green, Taylor, Casey, or Metcalfe County. Plus they were basically shrunken hamburgers that someone, with what I considered at that time to be a great job, had took the time to poke holes in. But really, it wasn’t about the White Castles. The fact was that my parents had taken the time to bring something back for me. Frankly, it could have been an ink pen from the Galt House and 3 peppermints from the old River Grille and I would have been thrilled.

During the Farm Bureau Annual meeting we get the chance to meet people from across the state, see outstanding members rewarded, set federation policy, and hear speeches from leaders in agriculture. But what is that worth if we don’t bring something back to our county? As attendees of the annual meeting we are not simply expected to walk the trade show, sit through sessions, and talk shop with others, only to let the experience fade as we leave Louisville.

My parents knew that they were fortunate to be able to go the annual meeting, and that my brother I would have enjoyed going. But since we couldn’t, they brought a piece of their journey to us. For a few days you are the eyes and ears of your county Farm Bureau. For all those who can’t be in Louisville, bring them something back, be it in the form of information on farm policy or ideas to grow the Young Farmer’s program locally. The magnitude of the Annual Meeting is too great to keep to yourself. Leadership is not about what we get, but about what we share.

And for you parents out there – pick up a sack of 12 for the kids on your way home! Looking forward to seeing you at the Annual Meeting!

Follow all the action at KFB's Annual Meeting on Twitter and Facebook using #kfbam13

Brandon K Davis is the State Supervisor of Agricultural Education and serves as the Kentucky FFA Advisor for the KY Department of Education. By virtue of his position, Brandon is a member of the Kentucky Farm Bureau State Board of Directors, representing the interest of Career and Technical Education. He spent 5 1/2 years teaching agriculture at John Hardin High School in Elizabethtown before becoming the State FFA Advisor. He is a life-long agriculturalist who grew up on a family farm in Green County.