For the better part of a decade, I have been involved in agriculture advocacy efforts. I began this blog as a simple way to share what I was doing on the ranch. That soon developed into a full network of friends and peers across the country. And today, directing programs for a growing nationwide network of 11,000+ advocates.
Skip to the bottom of this post to listen to the interview
Advocacy in Agriculture
Advocacy has most definitely evolved over that decade. One of the mantras we’ve heard time and again is the need to share your story. But what’s that really mean? What’s the return on that investment? If we’re asking people to take time out their busy days to advocate for themselves, there needs to be a purpose.
This past month, I had the opportunity to visit with Carson Horn while in OKC for the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Convention. We had the chance to discuss how advocacy has evolved. What topics are important today? How is advocacy just part of doing business today?
The following article originally appeared on Oklahoma Farm Report.
Let’s Face It, These Days Advocacy Has Become Just Another Part of Doing Business on the Ranch
Ryan Goodman works with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association primarily in regard to the association’s grassroots advocacy efforts. He explained in a recent interview with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn, that his role allows him to work closely with producers to help them understand the principles of being a better communicator, insisting that isn’t generally a soft skill one picks up while working on the farm or ranch.
“I think we’re realizing that advocacy is very much a part of doing business today. Our market research team at NCBA has done a lot of work trying to figure out what our consumers are asking and how they want that information delivered. And it’s important everyone understands how to tell your story through those lenses and how we’re contributing to being good stewards of (our) resources.”
Advocacy more than social media
When it comes to advocacy, though, Goodman says social media is what generally comes to mind these days, but insists it is much more than just regurgitating data and facts over Facebook and Twitter, etc.
“When we’re out in our communities and interacting with everyone, we’re making an impact and an impression. We need to make sure that’s a good impression. Focusing on how well we’re listening to what people are asking. Then thinking about not just how to share the facts, but putting it into your experience as well.
“People really connect with the experiences of others, so I think our stories can go a lot farther than just sharing statistics and facts.”
The beef sustainability research I mentioned is ever-changing and we’re continually working to learn from it and see where we can improve. You can also take a look at the Cattlemen’s Stewardship Review to dive deeper.
Like what you see here? Sign up for my newsletter to be notified of future stories and weekly headlines. Click here to sign up.