The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) recently trained 18 farmers and ranchers from throughout the United States in their first Conversation Leader training. These farmers and ranchers were nominated by USFRA affiliates as outstanding agriculture advocates that can serve as spokespeople for USFRA. The training took place on March 28th and 29th in Chicago, IL.
Suzanne Vold (left), a dairy producer with NMPF member cooperative Land O'Lakes, was nominated as a Conversation Leader to participate in this training by NMPF, which is an affiliate of USFRA. The training provided her with information and hands-on experiences that will allow her to engage in more meaningful conversations about her farm and farming practices with consumers.
The training focused on engaging in a conversation about food production, rather than defending food production. This was accomplished through conversation training, social media training provided by AgChat Foundation, and hands-on workshops that focused on message development, media interviews, panel discussions and social media interaction. The second day of training included a breakfast that allowed the farmers and ranchers to engage in a conversation about how food is grown and raised with Chicago area food bloggers.
"We are so pleased to have such a wide variety of farmers and ranchers in attendance for our first Conversation Leader training," said Bob Stallman, President of the American Farm Bureau and Chairman of USFRA. "It is imperative for farmers and ranchers to have their voices included in the conversations about how food is grown and raised. USFRA will be using this team to serve as USFRA’s go-to farmers and ranchers for high level engagement such as meetings, tours, and media interviews."
Sessions are currently being planned to train additional Conversation Leaders to lead the conversation about how food is grown and raised.