Contributing to the Ag Story
At the 2014 Keystone Crops and Soils Conference Jane DeMarchi, VP of Government Affairs for the American Seed Trade Association, gave a presentation and provided a great list of resources for helping us learn how to communicate with general public, friends, and family about our industry.
A main message from Jane was that we need to change how we present our message. She has seen how communicating the ag message has been most effective when we can relate our message to the audience rather than just stating scientific talking points. For example, relate to how we are all concerned about the health and wellbeing of our kids as a start to a conversation about ag production. Or how clean water and safe food is as important to ag producers as it is to the public.
If you are having trouble forming your message or with resources to use, Jane gave a great list of websites to access information on how to approach conversations and presentations that can be used at local meetings to communicate ag messages.
Jane also mentioned how important it is to be in contact with our representatives. In the past year groups that do not support ag and some ag practices were able to get 10,000 call ins and emails in response to proposed legislation. It is easy to write, call or email your Congress members if you want to make sure your ag voice is being heard.
A final point from Jane was that we as an ag industry are good at communicating among ourselves, but we are not as outspoken as we need to be in telling our story to promote ourselves.