The recent Animal Agriculture Alliance 2016 Stakeholders Summit, held last week in Arlington, VA, worked to explore new ways to bridge the communication gap about animal agriculture.
One of the event’s speakers was Yvette D’Entremont, blogger and science advocate also known as the “Sci Babe.” D’Entremont encouraged attendees to bridge the gap by reminding consumers that farmers are also consumers, show photos when possible because “seeing is believing and connecting with people is essential,” and lastly, incorporate humor in things you want people to read.
A panel about engaging consumers featured Phil Keiser, president and CEO of Culver’s, Leah McGrath, RD, LDN, corporate dietitian at Ingles Markets, and Jenny Schweigert, executive director of the AgChat Foundation as panelists.
“It is important to maintain a connection to agriculture. We can’t do business without agriculture,” said Keiser. Culver’s supports The National FFA Organization and encourages their customers to support FFA members and the future of agriculture by giving all customers who donate one dollar to the FFA organization a free custard cone. “We understand the pride in the blue jacket,” he said.
Another panel at the event featured the top three individual winners from the College Aggies Online program guided by Elizabeth Stulberg, PhD, policy analyst at the White House Office of Science and Technology.
The panelists included Jessica Miller, a graduate student studying animal science at Oklahoma State University, Jennifer Weinberg, a senior studying political communications at George Washington University, and Heather Abeita, a junior studying agricultural biology at New Mexico State University. Each panelist shared their thoughts on why agriculture is a great career choice for the next generation and how to get people interested in the future of animal agriculture.