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Posts Tagged ‘Bridge Building’

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…

“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.”

Must Meet From SXSW

From an #agnerd perspective, SXSW was an amazing experience. It was a great opportunity to be able to be on the AgChat Foundation panel with Chris Chinn, Emily Zweber, Zach Hunnicutt and moderated by Marla Schulman. I took a little different approach to SXSW than most folks. Rather than trying to discover new hardware, software, applications or strategies, I went with the purpose of meeting and interacting with people. I have discovered that genuine and caring people are more often than not, associated with unique, beneficial and useful products and programs. Once again, this premise proved true. I would like to share a few of the people I was able to meet and speak with at SXSW and encourage you to look them up and check out what they have to offer and are involved in. Read more…

Conversations Are Beneficial

Following my post titled Size Is Relative, a respected follower of mine, Joya Parsons (@Kubileya), sent me the following tweet. In it she makes some very poignant statements that everyone in agriculture, no matter the size, commodity or production practice, should take to heart.

She begins:

@JeffFowle No one is throwing stones, but the instant backlash when a hashtag for small farms to connect was suggested is pretty telling as to the attitude coming from over #AgChat way.

I recall seeing several tweets a few days ago using the #smallfarm hashtag and thought to myself that it was a neat idea to provide a unique identifier for one of the groups that help make up agriculture. At the time I did not notice any “condescending” remarks being made, by either side. Later that day, however, I noticed a series of tweets with the new hashtag, promoting small farms (which is great), yet they were also speaking ill of those who were not “small.” This is what prompted me to write my original post. However, I had not noticed the reciprocal mudslinging, so I went back through the tweet stream to try to find out what Joya was describing and sure enough, there were some. Read more…

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