Advocating for agriculture shouldn’t be a passive act. An advocate should be willing to step out of their comfort zone, engage in uncomfortable conversations and walk into new groups with an open hand and listening ear.
Many days I act as a passive advocate, sitting behind the computer screen and putting my thought into a blog that I let people find on their own. I don’t engage directly with my readers, my fans or my critics. But I need to. And I want to. Engaging with consumers is a challenging and rewarding experience that reminds me just how much incorrect information is out there and how easy it is to provide explanations and accurate examples.
I was recently honored with an opportunity to put my active advocacy skills to the test and join a great group of women volunteers with the CommonGroup Kansas organization.
CommonGround is a group of women living in all parts of the U.S., representing farms across the country and working to engage consumers in conversations about food and farming. The goal of the organization is to provide first-hand answers to consumers’ questions about food production and safety.
Kansas has created its own CommonGround group and like the national chapter, the goal of the organization is to show people, through first-hand accounts, that food is not grown in a factory. For CommonGround volunteers, it’s all about starting a conversation, opening up the lines of communication between producers and consumers and helping people understand what farmers do and how they work everyday to produce a safe and affordable food supply.
I am so excited to join the conversation and push to engage mothers, cooks, dieticians, journalist, teachers and anyone else that can influence the dietary choices of others. It’s important that we don’t’ just throw information at the wall and hope it sticks. We must give the consumers the answer they want and provide factual and relevant facts, figures and examples to show consumers what we do and why we wake up everyday to continue the farming tradition. It’s a great organization with a fantastic mission and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of the group.
If you ever have a question about where you food comes from, how it is produced and what goes into getting that food to your plate, please ask. We’re happy to explain.
Read more about CommonGround Kansas at http://commongroundkansas.wordpress.com/ and via Twitter at @commongroundks. Find the national CommonGround organization and great information on where your food comes from at www.findourcommonground.com.