What is an influential person? Studies say that an influential person is someone that attends three meetings a year, has written or contacted an elected official, serves on a committee and is an officer of an organization. Troy and Stacy Hadrick believe that everyone involved in agriculture can be influential people and have a voice they can use to advocate for agriculture. The Hadricks shared three key steps to effectively advocating for agriculture with the Tomorrow’s Top Producer Seminar attendees in Chicago. The “three Ts” are Talk, Teach, and Touch.
Talking - The Hadricks encouraged farmers to develop a 30 second “elevator” speech including their name, where they farm and what they do. This technique can be used anywhere and makes a great first impression.
Teaching - Social media is a useful tool in executing this step of advocating. Social media gives farmers an advantage because unlike years before agriculture is now able to connect with consumers not in the same areas as farmers. Social media has also allowed agriculture to keep track of what others are saying about agriculture practices. Whether Facebook, Twitter or blogging; “Telling your story should be part of your chore list,” Troy says.
Touch - In order to make a difference and be an influential person the Hadricks told seminar attendees that they must make a connection. They encouraged producers to be honest, passionate and to take every opportunity to make a connect with someone outside of agriculture.
The Hadricks implored Top Producer Seminar attendees to work together to be advocates for agriculture. “We can no longer be the beef people, the bean people, the corn people or the hog people,” says Stacy. “We have to suit up as team agriculture and work together because we are influential people.”
Troy and Stacy Hadrick created Advocates for Agriculture to help tell the story of agriculture. Their passion for agriculture and their excellent speaking skills have won them many awards including the South Dakota State Discussion Meet, South Dakota State Excellence in Agriculture Award, the 2004 National Excellence in Agriculture Award from the American Farm Bureau and because of their excellent leadership skills they are involved in Partners in Agricultural Leadership (PAL), Farm Bureau’s most prestigious leadership group. You can learn more about Advocates for Agriculture at http://www.advocatesforag.com/.