Editor's Notebook: How to Speak Up for Ag in 2016

December 4, 2015 05:00 AM
Editor's Notebook: How to Speak Up for Ag in 2016

Farm Journal’s commitment to service journalism stretches back to the day our founder, Pennsylvania farmer Wilmer Atkinson, set out to provide “common-sense information” to farmers in 1877. This month, one way we do that is by asking 13 of our smart contributors to offer practical steps that will help you thrive in 2016. In true Farm Journal fashion, their advice touches on what you do in the field, in the shop, in the office and even in your personal time. 

I want to equip you for another challenge: speaking up for farming in a year when Americans, most without any connection to agriculture, vote. 

Lots of organizations have conducted research on how to communicate with consumers. One of them is the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance. Here’s some of what their research 
has found:

  • Influential consumers are quick to spot companies’ slick marketing. What they truly value is the authentic voice of real farmers and ranchers sharing their experiences.
  • People get turned off when you pit one farming method against the other (organic versus conventional).
  • Consumers who shape the opinions of others love watching videos online, especially authentic videos that show real farming.

Want to speak up for ag? You can do so several different ways:

  • Are your local schools looking for guest speakers? Why not share what it’s like being a farmer? You don’t have to be on social media to share your story.
  • If you do spend time online, take photos and videos with your smartphone and share.
  • When you get into conversations with non-farm folks, talk about how you feed your family the same food they feed theirs. Shared values bring people together, and there’s more that unites us than divides us. 

We Hope to See You at One of Our Upcoming Events

Farm Journal Legacy Workshop
December 8, Dallas, Texas
December 9, Little Rock, Ark.

Farm Journal Corn & Soybean College
January 12, Dyersburg, Tenn.
January 14, Harrisburg, Penn.

Top Producer Seminar
January 27-29, Chicago, Ill.

Farm Journal Corn & Soybean College
February 2, Mankato, Minn.

Pro Farmer Leading Edge Conference
February 15-16, Omaha, Neb.

Farm Journal Wheat College
February 25, Enid, Okla.

Tomorrow’s Top Producer
June 16-17, Nashville, Tenn.

To learn more and register, call (877) 482-7203 or visit www.FarmJournal.com/trainings

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Spell Check

Chappell, NE
12/4/2015 09:54 AM

  Here in Nebraska they certainly don't want farmers SPEAKING in the schools, just PAYING for the schools.


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