Caps and Gowns in Farms and Towns

Bryan Bjerke
May 8, 2013

I love this time of year. Spring brings new life and growth. It also brings a fresh crop of ag professionals to the workforce. It’s good to remember that graduation can be the start of great opportunities for the graduates and for rural America and agribusiness. If you want to be a part of telling agriculture’s story and making a difference, there’s plenty of room to grow. Consumers, business people and farmers and ranchers all need to hear more about what’s going on in agriculture. And we need more passionate professionals ready and eager to either start or stimulate conversation and share ideas.

The challenges of telling agriculture’s story are still significant. The industry continues to be a consistently positive performer in the U.S. economy, but the attacks on production agriculture continue for several fronts. So who do we connect with, and how?

Social media integration, database marketing and acquisition targeting are just a few of the most recent challenging avenues of communication that continue to expand. But the basics still apply too. Reaching out to advocates and enemies requires knowledge of what makes news and what events can spark interest. Inspiring advocates is often overlooked by the necessity to counteract negative news. We have to have a deep bench of people from all walks of agriculture and agribusiness who can relate to consumers and journalists and know how to tell their story in straightforward language and connect that story to what the consumer cares about. Finding and inspiring those advocates must be an ongoing mission for public relations professionals. And you won’t find any GPS guided, self-steering way to do it. Where would the fun be in that?