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Archive for the ‘Agvocate’ Category

Yahoo and Agvocating…Time To Look In The Mirror

I can’t help but shake my head in disbelief at some of the responses coming from some in the agricultural community in regards to the article in Yahoo News that listed the “College Majors That Are Useless.”

I am particularly disappointed when I see individuals who are “teaching” others how to utilize social media to agvocate and individuals who have attended training’s, react in such a way.

This article and the one last May were wonderful opportunities to respond in a positive manner and encourage dialogue and conversation on the topic.

However, what ensued were multiple comments, tweets and responses on Facebook that were little more than shouting and bragging…not productive. Read more…

We’ll Listen and Answer Questions

This fall, the U.S. Farmers &Ranchers Alliance is partnering with Discovery Communications to continue to share its message to create an open dialogue with the American public about how food is grown and raised.

The partnership includes three 60-second vignettes and one longer format vignette (4-7 minutes long) shot documentary style.  The discussions range from conversations about the agricultural community’s commitment to continuous improvement to the role farmers and ranchers play in providing healthy choices for everyone.

The short vignette for the video that I shot with Discovery Channel for USFRA has been released.

 

 

The participating farmers and ranchers included:

Shana Beattie – Livestock and Grain Farmer in Sumner, Nebraska

Jeff Fowle –  Farmer/Rancher in Etna, CA

Ken Oneto – Crop and Produce Farmer in Elk Grove, CA

Dino Giacomazzi – Dairy Farmer  in Hanford, CA

Scott Long – Pork Producer in Manteca, CA

Jill Benson – Egg Producer in San Joaquin Valley, CA

To see the other vignettes, visit the Food Dialogues page.

 

“Control The Conversation…NOT!”

September 27, 2011 11 comments

This post is a result of my seeing multiple posts on Twitter, Facebook and even in print that simply cause me to shake my head and ask, Why?

Why are we so afraid of encouraging people to speak from personal experience?

Why are we so afraid to of encouraging people to share their unique perspective?

Why can’t we embrace differences and work together to solve challenges that we all face…together.

Why?

ENOUGH ALREADY….PLEASE!!!

I am still seeing “professionals” and organizations talking about “controlling the message,” “controlling conversations,” providing “talking points” for those who are going to be in the “spotlight” and not being able or willing to trust people or even their own members.

“Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to be a certain way. Be unique. Be what you feel.” – Melissa Etheridge 

NEWS FLASH: People are unique. Perspectives are unique. Everyone has a different story to share, a different way to share it and that is what makes different people interesting to different people.

Positive relationships are developed on mutual trust and respect.

Mutual trust and respect is a result of open and honest conversations.

Open and honest conversations can only occur if individuals share their own story, their own way, in their own words.

If our objective is truly to reach understanding, between those in a respective industry and those outside, all of the individuals must be themselves and speak from personal experience.

Controlling messaging and controlling conversations will never lead to trust, respect or a positive outcome for anyone.

“I am disillusioned enough to know that no man’s opinion on any subject is worth a damn unless backed up with enough genuine information to make him really know what he’s talking about.”H. P. Lovecraft 

 

Sometimes It Takes An Anvil….

September 26, 2011 2 comments

The Anvil

Last Thursday, I was helping my wonderful wife move a trunk of horse show supplies from the tack room to storage. As we were passing through the shop, we passed by my anvil, which I pass by numerous times each day. Thursday, however, as I went by, the end of the anvil caught me in the thigh…even though I had “given it a wide berth” or so I thought.

For those not familiar with anvils, I use ours to shape shoes for the horses and as an aid in the fabrication of steel projects.

For some reason, Job 37:14 popped into my head: “Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the works of God. Dost thou know when God disposed them, and caused the light of his cloud to shine? Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wonderous works of him which is perfect in knowledge? How thy garments are warm, when he quieteth the earth by the south wind?”

Too often, we all get absorbed in what we feel is best, become overly concerned in what we can accomplish, care more for getting acknowledgment for our actions or are so engrossed in doing what we think is best, that we forget to “stand still, and consider the works of God.”

The good Lord works in mysterious ways and last Thursday, He used an anvil to remind me to stand still, consider his works and refocus on doing his work, putting others first and reminding me that it more important to build bridges on mutual trust and understanding than to force “education” on others.

It’s about listening…listening with the genuine intent to learn from each other.

Open your minds, open your hearts…

Take a moment to “stand still.”

PLEASE! Stop The Finger Pointing

September 19, 2011 2 comments

“Remember, when you are pointing your finger, you have three others pointing back at you.”

This old adage has never been more relevant. It saddens me to see the accusations and inflammatory remarks flying through the social media streams, particularly in the arena of agriculture: food, fiber, shelter and the production of those resources.

There is nothing to be gained by “yelling” at one another. Read more…

Reach Beyond The Choir, #ACFC11 Opening Remarks

Sunset In Nashville, courtesy of Mark Lathrop

Welcome to Nashville!

You were all selected to attend this 2nd Agchat Foundation Conference because you have passion for agriculture, have embraced social media and have demonstrated that you have the desire to become more effective agvocates.

Over the next two days, you will have the opportunity to expand your knowledge of social media platforms, integrate smart and mobile technology and most importantly, meet fellow agvocates who have made the decision to work with you as a team.

Some of you will focus on one or two platforms, while others will feel comfortable and have the time and energy to incorporate multiple platforms. You each will play an important and vital role in assisting the effort of agriculture to reconnect with consumers.

Our emphasis this year is to help you reach beyond the choir. We want you to learn how to build strong bridges, grow supportive communities and gain influence among those outside of agriculture.

This endeavor will take time, focus, patience, bravery, professionalism, civility and respect.

Ultimately, your success will depend on your ability to communicate effectively and nurture relationships built upon mutual respect and trust.

Agriculture is diverse, society is diverse, and you all have unique interests and personalities, as do the individuals you will be reaching out to.

Diversity must be respected. Read more…

Fill Your Fridge For Free!

Fill Your Fridge Sweepstakes

Are you from California?

Would you like to fill your fridge for an entire year, for free?

If you answered yes to the previous two questions follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Know A California Farmer Sweepstakes Page.
  2. Like the page
  3. Allow the application to access your FB page.
  4. Fill out a short form.
  5. Share your entry on your FB page.
  6. Enter each week by repeating steps 4 & 5.

For each of your friends that accept your invitation and enter, you get an additional entry!

The Grand Prize is a $10,000 grocery gift card from California farm families at Know A California Farmer.

First Prize is a beautiful bouquet of flowers delivered each month from Californian Grown Flowers.

Weekly Prizes include eight $100 certificates for groceries from Californian farm families at Know A California Farmer.

What are you waiting for?

 

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