By: Emma Likens
As I stood at the State FFA Convention at the Nebraska Pork Producers booth striking up conversations with high school FFA students, I was struck by the difference between talking with students knowledgeable in agriculture and talking to consumers with little agricultural background. As a shy FFA’er in high school, I knew no matter where other FFA members I met came from, they would be easy to talk to because we shared a similar background. Even in college, that same basic idea applies. It’s easy for me to talk to other ag majors on east campus. I also had the privilege to attend the 2011 AFA (Ag Future of America) Leaders Conference in Kansas City. No matter where you go, if you have that same ag background in common, connections are easily made. People already understand agriculture and your passion for it.
But when it comes to talking to people with little agricultural knowledge, sometimes I find myself stumbling. I want consumers to understand where their food comes from and the methods used to produce it. And even though talking to consumers isn’t always easy, it’s vitally important to the agriculture industry. As a member of the Pork Mentoring Class of 2012, I hope to improve on my communication skills through the various activities we’ll be participating in.
These conversations with consumers and other producers don’t have to just be in person. Thanks to social media, we can share ideas with just a click. One example of a great social media advocate for agriculture is Erin Ehnle, who shares snapshots of agriculture on her facebook page: Keeping it Real: Through the Lens of a Farm Girl. (Click the link to see her page) Her photography and design depict pictures of all aspects of agriculture, often with cool facts or inspirational quotes mixed in.
Check out this snapshot about pork!
Thanks for reading!