Why Do I AgVocate? – Brenda Rudolph

What is your role in agriculture?

My husband and I are dairy farmers.

What was your inspiration for becoming an agvocate?

It was when Everett was little. I was having a hard time explaining to some of my really good friends who have no ag background of how hard it was with a little one in tow doing chores. “Let Nate finish.” “Just don’t milk them at night.” I realized how disconnected people are from dairy farming. I live in a community where dairy is prominent and my fellow non-farm moms have no idea where their food comes from but they want to know. I realized I needed to start telling our farm story. Telling our story how we live, work, laugh, and cry together.

What is your favorite part about being an agvocate?

The best is when we take Everett’s cow 304 to school, the fair, or the FFA petting zoo. Anywhere kids get to pet her interact with her. Children and adults are able to stand right next to her, brush her and get first hand look at a Holstein cow. I love when people ask questions, it shows they care and they truly want to know. I ask questions about other parts of ag I don’t know about.

What is the most challenging part of being an agvocate?

The hardest part is the words. Industry words and consumer words are completely different. Just like every family has a language all their own, words in ag and words to the consumer have completely different meanings. Many don’t understand dairy farming, every picture I post online I look at it through the eyes of the consumer. I do this to ensure the meaning of the picture is clear.

What advice for other farmer/ranchers who would like to become more involved in agvocacy?

You don’t need to be on a soapbox. Don’t take offense when questions are asked. I am a firm believer in “If you want to know the answer you have to ask the question.” Agvocacy doesn’t need to be big grand gestures. It can be encouraging words to kids who take animals to the fair. When you see a mom put milk in her cart, thank her for making healthy choices for her kids. I look at agvocacy as I am not just representing my own farm but all parts of ag. I need to do that to the best of my ability.

What is your biggest takeaway or memory from an AgChat event or Twitter chat?

I attended the AgChat event in Nashville 2015, my biggest take away was the attendees passion for ag. No matter the area we are all wanting to know and learn more. We want to do better telling our story, how to be more effective with less words. Taking home cotton grown in Georigia. I still have in my china cabinet.

What does the AgChat Foundation mean to you?

AgChat foundation is a resource for all involved in agriculture. It is a place to go to when questions are needed to be answered for consumer. It is also a place for agvocates to be recharged and get refocused why the need for agvocacy is there.

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brenda ruldophBrenda and her husband Nathan dairy farm in Central Minnesota milking 110 Holsteins. Brenda is proud to say her children are the 6 th generation on their dairy farm. Brenda and Nathan purchased the farm from Nathan’s parents in 2011 becoming the sole owners. Brenda and Nathan share the work load. In the mornings and evenings Brenda can be found milking cows side by side Nathan with their two children, Everett 7, and Vivian 1 tagging along every step of the way.

Follow Brenda on her blog, Facebook & Twitter

AgChat Foundation Announces Greg Peterson as Keynote for 2016 Cultivate & Connect Conference

The AgChat Foundation is excited to announce Greg Peterson of The Peterson Farm Brothers as keynote speaker of for the 2016 Cultivate & Connect Conference this December in Kansas City.Greg Peterson Headshot2

Greg Peterson is a 2013 graduate of Kansas State University where he majored in Agricultural Communications and Journalism. He grew up and still works on a family farm near Assaria, KS with his parents, 2 brothers, and sister. In June of 2012, Greg and his brothers released a video on YouTube entitled, “I’m Farming and I Grow It” that received over 9 million views. Since then Greg and his brothers have continued to produce videos and are now up to 37 million total views on YouTube. The videos have given Greg and his brothers many opportunities around the country and the world to talk about agriculture and he is passionate about the future of the industry.

“I’m looking forward to returning to the AgChat conference this December. It’s always a great experience to connect and re-connect with people involved in agriculture advocacy. The AgChat conference brings to life the online involvement of so many people.”
We are very excited to have Greg present. Make sure to join our Facebook event for the conference to keep up with who’s attending, new details & more!

Why Do I AgVocate? -Greg Peterson

What is your role in agriculture?

I am a 5th generation farmer from Assaria, KS. I work on a beef cattle, wheat, corn, soybean, and sorghum farm with my family. I also create YouTube videos (Peterson Farm Bros) with my brothers and operate all of the social media platforms associated with that. When I am not working on the farm, I am travelling around the country giving presentations on advocating for agriculture.

What was your inspiration for becoming an agvocate?

When I was growing up in school, I was always frustrated with the perception my friends had of what it meant to be a farm kid. I was always trying to change their stereotypes of what it must be like and educate them on why farming was important. That desire to communicate what I knew to be the truth about agriculture led to me switch my major in college from Ag Economics to Ag Communications during my sophmore year.

What is your favorite part about being an agvocate?

I think it’s seeing the positive difference you can make in what people think about farmers and agriculture. Also, when you see the disconnect between people and their food, you feel like you are needed.

What is the most challenging part of being an agvocate?

Definitely the backlash and arguments you receive from the opposing side, whether that be an activist or just someone who disagrees with you. It’s so frustrating to know something is true but not be able to convince someone else of that truth. But not everyone is open to new ideas and sometimes you just have to move past that and focus on the ones who are.

What What advice for other farmer/ranchers who would like to become more involved in agvocacy?

You can do a lot of advocacy just by being intentional with your time and conversations with people. I do take time to work on advocacy projects but you can get a lot done just by looking for ways to advocate as part of what you are already doing!

What What is your biggest takeaway or memory from an AgChat event or Twitter chat?

Whenever you have a group of people passionate about the agricultural conversation get together, it is something special. Whether online or in person, it is a very neat community to be a part of!

What What does the AgChat Foundation mean to you?

I appreciate the AgChat Foundation for all the advocacy work they do as well as all of the training and material they provide to other advocates.

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Greg Peterson Headshot2

Greg Peterson is a 2013 graduate of Kansas State University where he majored in Agricultural Communications and Journalism. He grew up and still works on a family farm near Assaria, KS with his parents, 2 brothers, and sister. In June of 2012, Greg and his brothers released a video on YouTube entitled, “I’m Farming and I Grow It” that received over 9 million views. Since then Greg and his brothers have continued to produce videos and are now up to 37 million total views on YouTube. The videos have given Greg and his brothers many opportunities around the country and the world to talk about agriculture and he is passionate about the future of the industry.

Follow Greg on his blog, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

YOU can help us plan Agvocacy 2.0 in 2014

We are all familiar with the conference play book. Keynote, breakout, breakout, keynote with lunch, breakout, breakout, keynote. yawn…

I have to admit that AgChat Foundation’s conference have looked like this in the past. But we are throwing out the conference playbook and reinventing what an Agvocacy conference should look like.

WHAT IF…

What if you could not only listen to key food influencers, but actually form a relationship with them? 

What if farmer and rancher leaders in social engagement sat down with you at your laptop and gave you one on one advice?


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What if you left the conference with an actual social engagement plan already to go?

 

What if you had the chance to meet in real life and have a great time with your online friends?


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What if after you left the conference you still had a community cheering you on?


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What if you went to a conference that actually inspired you?

WHAT IF! 

This is what we are hoping to do in 2014. But we need your help. We want to know what makes a great conference for you. We also want your suggestions on location. Please fill out this short (10 question) survey. Just taking a few minutes of your time will make the next Agvocacy 2.0 Conference the best conference you have ever been to.

http://fluidsurveys.com/surveys/agchat/agvocacy-2-0-conference-feedback/

Please fill out the survey today. The survey closes at 7:00pm CST on Wednesday, November 6, 2013.

Thank you!

~Emily Zweber, ACF Executive Director

May 14th, 2013 – AgChat on Questions about Agvocacy 2.0 Conference

Questions about Agvocacy 2.0 ConferenceWhat Do You Want To Know? The Agvocacy 2.0 conference is in August and people looking to attend had questions. This AgChat conversation helps answer them.
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