Best-selling author and former associate athletic director of student counseling at the University of Michigan, Greg Harden, delivered this year’s keynote speech at the closing general session during the 2024 American Farm Bureau Convention in Salt Lake City on Monday, Jan. 22.
Harden, who counseled more than 400 student-athletes who went on to careers in the four major professional sports – football, baseball, basketball, and ice hockey – shared his counseling expertise with several sports legends. Seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady and Heisman Trophy winners Desmond Howard and Charles Woodson, as well as 120 Olympians, including competitive swimmer Michael Phelps, winner of 23 gold medals, are among those who benefited from Harden’s counseling.
But just as important to Harden were the countless other students he counseled who went on to become highly successful doctors, lawyers, teachers, business leaders and professionals in all walks of life.
Harden’s book, “Stay Sane in an Insane World: How to Control the Controllables and Thrive,” was published in August, and became an instant New York Times bestseller. It also hit the bestseller list on Amazon (at one time the #1 bestselling book in all of America), as well as in USA Today, Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly.
Commenting on Harden’s address and his outstanding work with young athletes, AFBF President Zippy Duvall said, “Persistent, patient and resilient are among the traits that professional athletes share with farmers and ranchers, which is why Greg’s message about coaching and mentorship is so timely.”
Duvall added, “The line-up for our entire convention is outstanding. In addition to great speakers and exciting competitions… [and] important conversations about top priorities for agriculture including the farm bill.”