Promotion and education. Two words that have begun to take on a whole new meaning to me the last few years, as my involvement in Farm Bureau as evolved. But what do those words mean for Farm Bureau?
The American Farm Bureau Federation’s new Promotion & Education Committee is an exciting opportunity to unite efforts being made across the country in our counties, our states…and sharing ideas, efforts and creativity in ways that make sharing the story of agriculture easier. Because we all know that each and every one of us needs to be sharing the story of agriculture…and not just any story, but our story.
The time has come for promotion and education efforts to no longer be riding shotgun with everything else that’s happening – it must be in the driver’s seat.
We read today’s headlines and we get upset over the stories that are being shared about agriculture, yet we’re not out there be loud enough with our own stories – sharing our own successes, telling our own happy endings. Those times have begun to change, but it’s not easy, and it doesn’t happen without a lot of hard work…and teamwork as well.
Promotion and education is not just about school programs and handing teachers information, although that’s important, too. It’s about reaching mothers at the grocery store, editors at the newspaper, readers online, friends in social media – the opportunities are endless!
Our committee is made up of a group of diverse, driven and dedicated individuals that are determined to ensure that we create innovative ways for states to share ideas and resources, as well as set a solid path for the future of this committee.
Led by Chris Hoffman, committee chair from Pennsylvania, we’re working towards preparing for next month’s AFBF FUSION Conference in Nashville. Other committee members include Phyllis Couture, New York; Melinda Groth, Minnesota; Hilary Maricle, Nebraska; Renee McCauley, Michigan; Teribeth Spargo, Missouri; and me, Val Wagner, North Dakota.
Will it be hard work? Of course. Worth it? Every second.
wagfarms is Val Wagner, a North Dakota farmer and rancher. The Wag’n Tales blog features stories from this mom of four who loves farm life and invites readers to come along for the ride. Follow Val on Twitter (@wagfarms) and find her on Facebook. She is vice chair of AFBF’s national Promotion & Education Committee.