Dec 212008

Issue 73 – December 16th, 2008 

About This Issue

Send Us Your Animal Science Video Links
The Importance of Attending Conferences
It’s What You Know AND Who You Know
Upcoming Industry Events . . . for 2009!
Coming Up in the Next Issue . .

About This Issue

December is far more than just “Exotic Animal Month” in The Animal Science Monitor.  It’s also the time you should be planning for the coming year.  In this issue of The ASM, the type of planning we explore involves industry events like conferences and conventions.  Engaging in training and networking endeavors should be the centerpiece of any plan for continued success, and we hope that we can help in your endeavors for the future.  We also hope that you enjoy this issue of The ASM, and of course, happy holidays!

Dan & Don

Send Us Your Animal Science Video Links

This past year was a very successful one for our “Video Links” feature in The Animal Science Monitor newsletter.  After releasing the feature and then running it on a consistent basis, we received many requests and submissions from readers regarding video links of interest within the animal science and animal nutrition industries.

With the New Year rapidly approaching, we would like to encourage you to keep sending us your submissions in 2009.  Although the links could be humorous in nature, they can also be instructional and revolve around a program or service that you are attempting to promote.  As you will see in the near future, our goal is to enhance the interactivity of the newsletter, and this regular feature is certainly part of that objective.

You can send your video link submissions to  Remember, we’re just looking for a link to a video that’s currently residing on the World Wide Web (for example, it could be a YouTube video).  We can not accept DVD copies of videos or consider submissions in that format for inclusion in the newsletter.  Also remember that we reserve the right to reject any video link submission for any reason.

We look forward to seeing more of your videos and to helping you be as successful as possible in 2009 and beyond!

The Importance of Attending Conferences

(By Dan Simmons )

In past issues of The Animal Science Monitor, we’ve discussed the importance of continuous training and education.  Specifically, we’ve advocated that training should be viewed as an investment as opposed to a cost.  As such, you should expect a reasonable return on that investment, both in the short term and over the long haul.  The same principle applies to attending industry events like conferences and conventions.

Now that we’re nearing the end of 2008, this is an excellent time to decide which events you—and/or members of your team—will attend next year.  With the uncertain conditions that currently exist in the economy, you might be tempted to cut back (or cut out) your attendance at such events.  While a more critical analysis of which events to attend is in order, completely eliminating them altogether could prove to be detrimental to your company’s overall efforts in 2009.

ROI = more productivity

While analyzing the events at which your company might be represented, those events fall into two distinct categories—those you will attend as the boss and those that the members of your team will attend.  Keep in mind that in some cases, it might make sense for all of you to attend the same event.  Regardless of the ones you choose to attend (and who goes) attending is important, mainly because of the many benefits it produces.  These benefits are rooted in an increase in your company’s productivity . . . in other words, a tangible return on your investment.

Benefits for you, the boss, as a result of both your attendance and the attendance of your team members:

  • The opportunity to stay on top of industry trends and developments
  • The chance to network extensively with other professionals and managers in the animal science industry
  • The opportunity to increase your base of knowledge, both as a manager and as a professional in the industry
  • The chance to increase your value as a manager and employee through training and networking
  • Increased retention of valuable employees

Benefits for the members of your team:

  • The opportunity to stay on top of industry trends and developments
  • The chance to network extensively with other professionals and colleagues
  • The opportunity to increase their base of knowledge
  • The opportunity to increase their value as an employee, as well as the chance to advance their career within the company
  • The knowledge that their employer values them enough as an employee to invest in their development by sending them to industry events

The ‘hidden’ benefit

As you can see, most of the benefits for both you and the members of your team are the same.  However, their cumulative effect results in yet another positive benefit, a “hidden” one, so to speak.  This “hidden” benefit is that of greater overall team chemistry, which should never be underestimated.  The importance of chemistry is illustrated by any team that has won a sports championship.  In fact, players and coaches on such teams are often quoted as saying that chemistry was integral to their success.

Talent will only take you so far.  However, for your employees to reach their full potential as a team, the creation and cultivation of chemistry is crucial.  It brings out the best in all team members, magnifying their contributions both individually and collectively as a group.   When employees attend conferences together, it allows them to build their chemistry more easily and accelerate their overall development as a team.

In this issue of The ASM, we’ve included a list of some of the major conferences in the industry scheduled for 2009.  If you haven’t already, I encourage you to consult this list and decide which events would make the most sense for you and your team to attend.  The benefits of this investment far outweigh the costs involved to make it.

If you have any questions about this article, or about ways in which you can make 2009 as successful as possible, send me an email at

It’s What You Know AND Who You Know
(By Don Hunter)

I probably don’t have to inform you that the job market is currently a challenging one.  However, as challenging as it might be, it’s still one that offers plenty of opportunities for career advancement.  The key is to somehow uncover those opportunities and then take advantage of them.

The best way in which to accomplish this is to expand what’s called your “sphere of opportunity.”  This is different than your “sphere of influence,” which refers to your ability to influence people and situations around you.  Instead, your “sphere of opportunity” refers to your ability to create as many opportunities for yourself as possible.  Ironically, this is often determined by the number of people you know and the number of situations with which you come into contact.

This is primarily why attending industry events is one of the best things you can do when attempting to climb the career ladder.  That’s because when you go to a conference or convention, you’re both meeting more people and exposing yourself to a wider variety of situations, both personally and professionally.  Career advancement is not just about what you know, it’s about who you know, as well.

What you know

As we’ve discussed many times before in The Animal Science Monitor, engaging in continuous education is critical for those interested in the advancement of their career.  Remember, the education you received during your formal education—the education you needed in order to earn your diploma—is just the starting point.  The knowledge that you accumulate after that largely defines the scope and trajectory of your career.

Conferences and conventions provide numerous opportunities for you to accumulate that knowledge, and depending upon the event, that knowledge can take many forms.  It could be fieldwork, it could be formal classroom training, or it could be cooperative study.  However, the manner in which the information is communicated is inconsequential.  What isn’t inconsequential is the fact that industry trends and developments change every year, and failure to stay on top of them could prove to be disastrous in terms of your career.

Who you know

I can’t emphasize enough the role that networking plays in the growth and development of a healthy career.  This is one of the most effective ways in which to expand your “sphere of opportunity.”  You never know which direction a conversation with a colleague will take.  You might discover a great opportunity you never knew about simply because you struck up a conversation and took the time to network.

Of course, industry events are prime locations for networking.  You can renew old acquaintances and also build new relationships with other people who share your interests or are also involved in your particular line of work.  Here’s the interesting part of the “who you know” equation.  Who you know can also positively contribute to what you know.  That’s because although you can glean a great deal of knowledge from the formal training that occurs at conferences, the knowledge transfer that takes place in between and even after sessions is just as valuable, and in some cases, even more so.

Now you know

Now that you know how attending industry events can increase your “sphere of opportunity,” where do you stand in terms of 2009?  Have you decided which events you’ll be attending?  Have you even decided if you’re going to attend any at all?  If not, what’s your justification?  It’s not too late to make a commitment to accelerate your career through attendance at conferences and conventions in the coming year.  Remember, you shouldn’t be looking at this as a cost, but rather as an investment, one on which you should expect a reasonable return.

In this issue of The ASM, we’ve provided a link to some of the more prominent industry events scheduled for 2009.  We invite you to look through that list and see which events fit your schedule and would contribute most to the expansion of your “sphere of opportunity.”

If you have any questions about this topic, please send me an email at  And if you’re currently engaged in a job search or are interested in advancing the scope of your career, be sure to send me your resume.  I’d be happy to discuss your career goals and ambitions, including ways in which I can help you to achieve them.  Any exchange of information, including resumes, will be kept in total confidence and handled in a discreet fashion.

Upcoming Industry Events … for 2009!
(By Matt Deutsch)

Throughout the course of the year, we at The Animal Science Monitor have made it a practice to include upcoming industry events of note within the pages of the newsletter.  It has become, more or less, a regular feature in our publication, underlining how important we believe it is to attend conferences and conventions.

Since this issue of The ASM could be considered our “Industry Events” issue, and since this is the next-to-last issue of 2008, we thought it would be appropriate to provide a comprehensive list of the conferences within the animal science and animal nutrition industries that are on the schedule for 2009.  Below are some points to keep in mind about this list:

  • The list is broken down by month, starting with January and progressing throughout the year.
  • The specific dates of each event are not provided.  However, there is a link below each event’s description that will take you to a website that includes all of the pertinent information associated with that particular event.
  • The list by no means contains each and every industry event or encompasses all disciplines, just the major ones and those likely to provide the most value.

You can access our 2009 industry event calendar, located at our Animal Science Jobs website, by clicking here.

Of course, we’ll continue our regular feature of highlighting upcoming industry events in The ASM during the course of next year, providing more specific information.  As always, we welcome your feedback.  If you believe there is an event that we should include, either on the Animal Science Jobs site or within the newsletter, please email details about the event to

Thanks again for your contributions to The ASM and for your continued readership of our publication.  I hope 2008 was good to you and that next year will be even better!

Coming Up in the Next Issue…

While planning is one of the things you should do at the end of any given year, it’s certainly not the only thing.  It’s also important to reflect upon all that you’ve accomplished during the previous 12 months.  With this in mind, we encourage you to read our special “Holiday Edition” of The Animal Science Monitor when it hits your inbox later this month.  In the meantime, it’s our wish that you and your family are able to enjoy the holiday season to its fullest.

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