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Phipps speaks on accountability

John Phipps speaks Wednesday morning in Bloomington / CIFN photo.

BLOOMINGTON – Ag communicator John Phipps brought a message of accountability and resilience to the McLean County Chamber of Commerce’s Agriculture Awareness Breakfast Wednesday.

Ag products used today, such as Dicamba herbicide, have some individuals pointing the finger at others if something goes wrong.

“What I’m finding is if farmers or individual producers would say they will be accountable, it not only puts everybody else at ease but it makes you a lot more responsible,” Phipps said.

Phipps also discussed social media and his dislike for Facebook. He is concerned over the information sites such as Facebook are able to extract. Users often post countless details on the social media site but forget about the capability of artificial intelligence.

“We are starting to get an idea from watching what is happening in China with their social accountability and what they are able to do,” Phipps explained. “If it doesn’t at least give you some concerns about what you put on Facebook, you need to take a hard look.”

Even though he uses Twitter, Phipps feels social media tends to bring out more of the worst than the best in people and believes it is too easy to post unkind words in cyberspace.

In this win or lose world we live in, Phipps said learning to lose is important. Despite the outcome, everyone generally walks away dissatisfied when they should really move on since having more at-bats is far more critical than your one loss column.

“Think of it as baseball. If you can win 60 percent of your games, you are doing great. Get used to the idea of here’s how to lose.”

Phipps has added humor and insight to American agriculture for 25 years by writing for Farm Journal and Top Producer magazines and creating video commentary for U.S. Farm Report. He continues to speak to ag audiences across the nation and stays busy with farming, engineer and woodworking endeavors.

Wednesday’s Ag Awareness Breakfast, presented by GROWMARK and held at the Chateau Hotel and Conference Center, included the 4-H pledge recited by Elizabeth Davis and the FFA Creed from Kailey Little. McLean County Farm Bureau’s Anna Ziegler announced the FFA service award winners while Emily Saddler from U of I Extension presented the Maitland Grants, George Holder awards and ag placemat winners.

The longstanding “pass the hat” tradition for the Maitland Fund continued at this year’s breakfast and raised $1,002 while the Evergreen FS roundup was $1,100. With the Maitland Match, the amount was $2,200.

The Central Illinois Farm Network's Kent Casson served as the Ag Awareness Breakfast emcee.

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