More than 40 Farm Bureau members from 15 states last week learned how to make a strong connection with consumers about all things agriculture, including sometimes controversial subjects like biotechnology and the labeling of food with GMO ingredients. Attendees to the inaugural 2018 Farm Bureau Target: Food Consumer Engagement Training also heard presentations related to attracting and keeping great volunteers, the latest in digital media, agricultural literacy and more. The training was hosted by the American Farm Bureau Federation Promotion & Education Committee.
Designed to give Farm Bureau members the tools they need to successfully engage with consumers, the conference provided training not only on how to connect with people who want to know more about where their food comes from, but how to personalize that message so that it resonates more powerfully.
“This was an amazing opportunity to host an intense training showing people how to successfully engage with consumers by meeting them at their level and answering tough questions. Beyond knowing what to say and how to say it, participants were also exposed to several resources to help them make a stronger connection by putting their own spin on it,” said Val Wagner, vice chair of the AFBF Promotion & Education Committee. Wagner farms with her husband, Mark, and their four boys in Monango, North Dakota. They raise corn, wheat, soybeans, alfalfa and cattle.
The training was unique in that it gave attendees a blueprint for taking action in their own communities, according to Wagner.
“So often we’re presented with these great educational opportunities that really get us motivated, but when we get home, we’re a little lost about where to go from there. The Target: Food Consumer Engagement Training got the attendees excited and equipped to hit the ground running. We essentially provided them a plan so they can map out their own post-training engagement journey,” Wagner said.
The Promotion & Education Committee’s mission is to develop and centralize resources that inspire and equip Farm Bureau to convey the significance of agriculture.