Let's Unite Our Voices

Jamie JohansenAdvocate, AFBF, Ag Group, Government

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 2.00.04 PMFrom the time Roger Rickard was 13 years old he was driven by causes and has been politically minded ever since. His experiences along the way lead him to start Voices in Advocacy and write a book, “7 Actions of Highly Effective Advocates.” He brought his expertise to the stage addressing attendees of the 2016 National Young Farmers & Ranchers conference in Kansas City, Mo.

“I worked to give them very tangible ways in which they can use seven actions to be more effective as an advocate. My book reaches out to that with simple steps,” said Roger Rickard, following his talk with young farmers and ranchers. Those seven simple step include: believe, be informed, discuss the issues, get on the record, be a resource, volunteer and contribute.

He titled his talk, “Elephants Don’t Bite, Donkeys Don’t Kick,” and of course he is referencing the two political parties. His meaning behind it was simple. They won’t hurt you. Go talk to those influencers who represent your local communities, your state and our country. “They need to know. They want to know. They want you to participate in the process because they want to know how to make the right decision. The only way they can do that is by you going out and telling them about the issues that impact you.”

Roger also talked about the power of a vote. If everyone in agriculture gets out and votes. Then we have a powerful voice. In fact, he said if we could all go home with just one thing he wanted us to remember our voices. “They have the ability to impact anything they want if they are willing to step up and speak out.”

I sit through a lot of speakers on the agriblogging highway, but Roger will stand out. I am again encouraged to continue to use my voice to talk ag and beyond. Listen to my complete interview with the Roger here: Interview with Roger Rickard, Voices of Advocacy