Powerful Voices Set Tone for ACF’s PNW Agvocacy Conference

In the news…

The AgChat Foundation will host the 2nd Annual Pacific Northwest Regional Agvocacy conference at 2014 Northwest Agvocacy Conference - learn more about the 2015 event at www.AgChat.org/PNWNorthern Quest Resort and Casino in Spokane, WA, April 27-28. Attendees who register before March 20th will receive an early bird discount. The Foundation, known for providing high-quality, agriculture advocacy training to farmers, ranchers, agribusiness professionals, media and educators, will once again deliver a selection of sessions focusing on strengthening online relationships while fostering offline communications with consumers.

The conference will open with motivational keynote speaker, mom and North Dakota agvocate, Katie Pinke. A household name for bridging common ground in even the most difficult conversations, Pinke will share her experiences, purpose, insight and set a tone for understanding on all sides of the kitchen table.

Attendees can expect to learn about tips, strategies and hacks for efficient advocating and utilizing community to share their farm and ranch stories via Instagram and Pinterest. Emphasis will be placed on building communication when interacting with detractors or facing crisis situations. Additionally, they will be provided hands-on training for blogging, Twitter and other social media platforms. The event will offer the experience to network with fellow farmers, ranchers, mentors and advocates while also interacting with a consumer panel.

2014 Northwest Agvocacy Conference - learn more about the 2015 event at www.AgChat.org/PNWThe event will provide the tools which will equip all to advocate for agriculture. Keynote speaker Michele Payn-Knoper, ACF board member and author of ‘No More Food Fights,’ will close by inspiring and infusing the audience with a passion for telling the story of agriculture.

“Farmers and ranchers in the pacific northwest and all across the U.S., have a unique story to tell and we are the only ones who can tell it accurately and authentically. Attending an AgChat Foundation event will provide purpose, tools and a network for successfully communicating with consumers,” says AgChat Foundation Vice-President, Marie Bowers of Harrisburg, OR.

A complete schedule of events is available at AgChat.org/PNW and AgChatPNW.Eventbrite.com

Sponsorship opportunities will be available until mid-March. Inquiries should be sent to Jenny Schweigert, Executive Director by emailing execdir@agchat.org.

Go Social in Spokane! Register for ACF’s 2nd Annual Agvocacy Conference

The AgChat Foundation will host the 2nd Annual Pacific Northwest Regional Agvocacy conference in Spokane, WA, April 27-28, 2015. The Foundation, known for providing high-quality, agriculture advocacy training to farmers and ranchers across the globe, will once again deliver a diverse selection of sessions focusing on strengthening online relationships while fostering offline communications with consumers.
Attendees of the 2013 AgChat Foundation conference in Portland, OR, gather outside Portland's urban farm. www.AgChat.org

Since the inception of the Foundation in 2010, the mission has been to provide training to as many U.S. regions as possible. Therefore, no two trainings have been repeated in a region. However, due to positive feedback and requests received following the success of last year’s event, farmers and ranchers from the pacific northwest will again have the opportunity to learn from top agvocacy experts.

In 2014, Datassentials and Bayer CropScience conducted a study which concluded that 94% of American consumers would like to speak with a farmer or rancher. The same study indicated that 36% of the population trusts farmers and ranchers more than scientists, nutritionists, government agencies, companies engaged in farming or agriculture, even social media contacts outside agriculture. As the number of farmers and ranchers sharing their story grows, so will the success connections from field to fork.

“Farmers and ranchers, in the pacific northwest and all across the U.S., have a unique story to tell and we are the only ones who can tell it accurately and authentically,” says AgChat Foundation Vice-President, Marie Bowers of Harrisburg, OR.

Registration will open on Monday, February 9th with a limited-time early bird rate of $89 for farmers and ranchers; agribusiness professionals with have an opportunity to register at a discounted rate of $145.

For information pertaining to sponsorship opportunities, contact Executive Director Jenny Schweigert at execdir@agchat.org.

AGCHAT FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES LATEST KEYNOTE SPEAKER

***REGISTRATION FOR THE 2014 NORTHWEST REGIONAL CONFERENCE ENDS DEC. 27TH**

The AgChat Foundation has announced the addition of closing keynote speaker and radio personality KayDee Gilkey to the 2014 Northwest Regional Agvocacy Conference scheduled for January 30-31, 2014.

After several years of work with the Washington Cattlemen’s Association and then the Idaho Cattle Association, Gilkey worked for Northwest Farm Credit Services in marketing and public relations. Now an agricultural radio reporter for The Ag Information Network, Gilkey reports on Open Range, Market Line and Northwest Farm and Ranch Report. Her reports are broadcasted through Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

As a seasoned marketing and public relations guru, Gilkey will provide insight about how to find the most opportune media outlets in an effort to communicate with the public. Additionally, she’ll discuss tips on how to build media relationships which will lead to ongoing opportunities for telling farmers’ and ranchers’ stories.

“We are very excited about adding KayDee to the knock-out list of speakers. Its become  apparent that more and more media sources are interested in helping farmers and ranchers tell their story. KayDee’s experience will certainly help navigate agvocates as they continue to build bridges within the broadcasting industry,” replied Jeff VanderWerff, AgChat Foundation President.

Registration is now open for the conference, which will be hosted at the Crowne Plaza, downtown Portland, OR, on January 30-31, 2014. Gilkey will join Oregon native Greg Satrum who will be the opening keynote speaker. Gilkey, Satrum and other speakers will share their experiences and expertise about utilizing social media to tell the story of agriculture. New to this conference, attendees will be provided an opportunity to connected with key food influencers and will be educated about the food system through consumers’ eyes.

Tickets for the event are $100 for farmers and ranchers and $150 for non-farmers/ranchers. The deadline for registration is December 27.

AgChat Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 building connected communities of agvocates and assisting them as they tell their stories. For more information about the organization or conference, including registration and hotel accommodations, please visit the Eventbrite page.

AgChat Foundation Announces Oregon Native Greg Satrum As Keynote Speaker

Greg Satrum, co-owner of Willamette Egg Farms in Canby, Oregon, a third-generation, family-owned egg farm, will be a keynote speaker at the AgChat Foundation’s 2014 Northwest Regional Conference in Portland, OR.

What began as Satrum’s small family farm in 1934 is now Oregon’s largest commercial egg farm, providing the Pacific Northwest with approximately 2 million eggs each day. In the midst of controversial regional and national hen welfare legislation in recent years, Satrum has been proactive in using social and digital media to make Willamette Egg Farms visible to the public. His efforts have raised awareness for the company’s modern hen-welfare practices, while managing and protecting his company’s image and promoting the industry’s best practices to consumers and critics alike. As a keynote speaker at the 2014 Northwest Regional Conference, Satrum will share his experiences, trials and successes while motivating attendees to utilize social media to tell their stories.

Registration is now open for the conference, which will be hosted at the Crowne Plaza, downtown Portland, OR on January 30-31, 2014. Satrum and other speakers will share their experiences and expertise on a range of topics including connecting with consumers on social media, telling your agriculture story, blogging, dealing with detractors and community building. Exclusive to the Portland conference, attendees will have the opportunity to network with key food influencers and offer a chance to have one-on-one conversations with local consumers.

“We are thrilled to present Greg as the opening keynote speaker,” said Jeff VanderWerff, President of AgChat Foundation. “His experience in the field is unparalleled and will challenge us to become better advocates of agriculture.”

Tickets for the event are $100 for farmers and ranchers and $150 for non-farmers/ranchers. Registration is open until December 27.

AgChat Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 building connected communities of agvocates and assisting them as they tell their stories. For more information about the organization or conference, including registration and hotel accommodations, please visit the Eventbrite site or Portland page.

Feed. Unite. Educate. Lead.

Recently agvocate Taylor Truckey had the opportunity to attend the 2013 Agriculture Future of America Leaders Conference. Her reaction Agriculture Future of America Leaders Conferencefollowing the conference reminded me of how many of our attendees feel following an AgChat Foundation Conference. It speaks to the importance of continuing education through the many, quality conferences available in the agriculture industry. Through conference such as AFA and AgChat Foundation you can confidently say you are on the forefront of leaders in both the social media and agriculture industries. Taylor provides an energetic synopsis of the AFA Leaders Conference and provides the benefits to attending continuing education training resources such as the AgChat Foundation’s upcoming 2014 Northwest Regional Agvocacy Conference scheduled for January 30-31 in Portland, OR. Registration is now open until December 27. The investment is $100 for farmers and ranchers and $150 for ag professionals and educators. For additional information visit the Eventbrite site. ~Jenny Schweigert

Earlier this month, I was lucky enough to participate in the 2013 AFA Leaders Conference in Kansas City. Over the course of 3.5 days, I sat through sessions geared towards my track, Track 3. There are four tracks for the Leaders Conference; each is targeted towards a grade level in college. As a junior(ish) at Michigan State, I was entered into Track 3 even though this was my first year participating! Track 3 students heard from a number of phenomenal speakers on topics ranging from personal finance/investing, family dynamics in farming operations, connecting across generations, managing job offers, and project management. We also had the opportunity to sit down with the executives of some top agricultural companies and ask them questions about their careers. Then we were able to join in a “Mocktails” event where we talked with recruiters from our industry; this was a great opportunity to practice etiquette in a social setting. Who knew that you’re supposed to keep your drink in your left hand?! That was a new tip for me!

Personally, I feel that the Leaders Conference was one of the most impactful conferences that I have taken part in. The entire week was a whirlwind of information, networking, and valuable lessons, the organizers of the conference aren’t joking when they compare it to drinking out of a firehose! I know that I have taken many things away from the 2013 Leaders Conference and applied them to different aspects of my life already. I’ve already been thinking of ways to apply the skills that I gained to future projects, like planning another ag awareness event at MSU, or starting a new student group that focuses on leadership, personal & professional development, and opportunities within agriculture.

The best part of the AFA Leaders Conference was the environment. From the minute we checked into the hotel, we were surrounded by some of the top ag students from across the nation! This created a powerhouse of ideas and offered many different viewpoints for our sessions since everyone came from such different backgrounds and experiences.

The Agriculture Future of America staff couldn’t have been more welcoming or accommodating throughout the conference. From being able to talk one-on-one with the President of AFA, Russ Weathers, to engaging with past or present Student Advisory Team members, the staff works to ensure that we are gaining everything we possibly can from the conference. I truly left Kansas City with a fire in me to be the best that I can be, to take the skills that I gained and share them with others. The 2013 AFA Leaders Conference made me ready to F.U.E.L the Future!

I would highly recommend this conference or any of AFA’s (Food, Policy, or Animal) Institutes to any college student and encourage everyone to apply! For more information on AFA, click here.

_______________________________________

Taylor Truckey - attendee of 2013 ACF's National Agvocacy ConferenceTaylor Truckey is currently a senior studying Crop and Soil Sciences at Michigan State University. Taylor grew up on a small cattle operation in southern Michigan with her parents, Ted & Heidi, and two brothers. She will be graduating in Spring of 2015 and looks forward to working as an agronomist and advocate for our industry. You can find Taylor on social media on Twitter: @taylor_truckey, Instagram: @taylor_truckey and Facebook: www.facebook.com/taylor.m.truckey