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We’re celebrating the second anniversary of Farmer’s Daughter Consulting today. (By “we” I mean the cats and me. The cats are my office su-purr-visors.) I launched my company on July 21, 2014, and while the past two years have not always been easy, I can honestly say I’ve never been happier in my career.

Here are some of the highlights that have provided so much happiness the past year.

A Great Boss

My boss is so lovely. She typically lets me take Friday afternoons off. She also doesn’t make me work on my birthday, my wedding anniversary, or any day I deem important enough to spend relaxing and celebrating versus working. She’s definitely supportive of a healthy work-life balance.

A BeaDo What Makes You Oh So Happyutiful Office

I love my home office. It’s an in-law suite with bathroom off our garage with its own entrance. I sometimes think my love of my office is a bit over-the-top, but it has everything I want in my work space, including lots of light, great music, beautiful artwork, a seated desk, a standing desk, and a treadmill desk. I can seamlessly move from desk to desk due to a powerful, secure home network. And for those days when the pool beckons, Larry the Laptop and I head outside to work in the warmth and solitude of our backyard.

 

A Huge Honor

My Food & Culinary Professionals Dietetic Practice Group colleagues nominated me for a national award, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 53rd Lenna Frances Cooper Memorial Lecture. I got to give a 75-minute presentation titled, “Success in Dietetics: Inspired by Farmers, Flavor, and Fun!” at the 2015 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) in Nashville last October. The award could not have come at a better time. It provided so much pride, hope, and optimism for me during my first year in business. And in my second year of business, I’ve had many colleagues comment on the transcript of my speech that was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Meaningful Work

When your business tagline is “Inspired by Farmers, Flavor, and Fun” it’s great when you get do work on behalf of farmers. Some of my work focuses on representing bean growers in North Dakota. I also get to do work for National Dairy Council (NDC) in my role as an NDC Ambassador. And I consult for Monsanto, which some people find upsetting, but I’m very proud of the work I do as a consultant and as L.E.A.D. (Leaders Engaged in Advancing the Dialogue) Network member. To me, the opportunity to work for a company that is using science and technology to provide more opportunities for farmers to be successful and sustainable is very gratifying.

Amazing Opportunities

In the past 12 months I’d gotten to travel to many conferences, including ones in England and Peru. I also got to attend the 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival and moderate a session titled “The Next Food Revolution.” Attending that four-day event is at the top of my list of the “Coolest Things I’ve Ever Done.” I can’t say enough about that experience. The speakers, the venues, and the inspiration and insights I gained were all exceptional! Oh, and did I mention the cool SWAG (Stuff We All Get) bag? I’ll be playing with my Rio 2016 Olympics ball in the pool later today.

Supportive Mentors and Colleagues

Running your own business is not always easy. There are often days when I ask myself, “Am I the bug or the windshield today?” Neither option is great. But one of the ways I cope is by reaching out to my mentors and colleagues who also do this kind of work. The support and laughter I get from these calls is immeasurable. Thanks to all of you who provide this gift to me!

On that note, I’m heading out early for some celebratory cocktails. Cheers to a third year of success and happiness!