Zion National Park, UT
At the heart of unforgettable trips lies meticulous planning and attention to detail. Jay Murdock, the mastermind behind the Georgia Farm Bureau’s excursions, orchestrates experiences that linger in the memories of attendees long after the journey ends. Interestingly, when praised for these remarkable trips, Jay humbly redirects the accolades to his exceptional team. However, the truth remains: it’s Jay’s responsibility to traverse the country, uncover the most intriguing destinations well in advance of the convention, and assemble an experience that resonates with Georgia Farm Bureau members, employees, and volunteers for a lifetime.
“I think historically at American Farm Bureau Convention, they used to organize a membership breakfast for the attendees. Once you’ve seen the inside of a hotel ballroom, you’ve seen them all. Once you’ve had cold pancakes at a hotel, you get tired of that. Our now-retired Chief Administrative Officer, Wayne Daniel, decided to allocate the same funds towards crafting a unique experience for our attendees. Something distinctive to the area and an opportunity for them to immerse themselves in the local culture,” Jay explains.
Jay meticulously scouts upcoming convention locations, like San Antonio in January 2025, attending preliminary meetings to familiarize himself with the area.
“They call it the FAM meeting, short for familiarization, I believe. We tour all the convention hotels and the convention center, allowing attendees to select their preferred accommodations. Then, I embark on the mission of curating an experience tailored to our attendees’ interests, which typically revolve around history and culture,” says Jay.
Reflecting on Jay’s efforts, Tom McCall, President of Georgia Farm Bureau, commends his attention to detail. “We’ve observed Jay’s dedication behind the scenes for the past year. He effortlessly manages a group of a hundred and fifty people, ensuring everyone arrives punctually and content. Our attendees consistently praise Jay, Jennifer, and their team for their outstanding work. We’re incredibly fortunate to have such dedicated individuals at Farm Bureau.”
“In and around Salt Lake City, the likelihood of snow is higher compared to southern Utah. When planning tours, relying solely on Mother Nature isn’t ideal. Thus, we opted for Southern Utah, known for its breathtaking national parks like Zion and Bryce Canyon, destinations that require intentional visits. While Yellowstone is nearby, we wanted to offer a unique experience that diverges from the typical tourist route,” says Jay.
Acknowledging the immense workload behind the scenes, Jay expresses gratitude for his assistant director, Jennifer Bracewell. “Jennifer meticulously maintains spreadsheets, lists, and checklists. I couldn’t execute these trips without her. Her attention to detail keeps everything on track. I’m immensely grateful for her dedication and hard work.”
By: Ray D’Alessio