The things farmers find sexy

As the founder of Art4Agriculture’s Young Farming Champions program one of the highlights of my year is watching the nomination process and identification and selection of agriculture’s rising stars who are excited about building agriculture’s social capacity and being provided with the tools and knowledge to help them do it.

Our workshops are facilitated by technical experts with extensive skills in presentation, media, marketing and consumer engagement

As Workshop 1 preparation first time attendees are asked to:

  1. Develop a Two Minute Presentation with the following brief
    • You have two minutes to introduce yourself to us in an engaging, professional manner (without notes)
      • Who are you?
      • What do you do?
      • Why you do it
  1. Research your industry body’s website:
  • Identify what you think are your industry’s 3 key messages
  • Find a webpage or document with statistics or information on your industry’s achievements in the last 30 years, similar to this:

The two minute presentation allows participants to share their story and what drives them with our team and fellow workshop attendees. Verbal and written feedback is provided after the session. Participants are able to fine tune their presentation based on the feedback and inspiration from their peers and redo their presentation the following day

As industry ambassadors and the face of youth in agriculture in the community it is important they familiarise themselves with their audience and interestingly enough the questions look very similar

  1. Who is your customer
  2. What do they buy
  3. Why do they buy it

So what are our industry bodies telling our customers on our behalf?

Let’s take a look at the Australian dairy industry which has a dedicated consumer education site. Visit here

Legendairy 1

I would imagine a dairy Young Farming Champion would think the dairy industry’s three key messages are

  1. Dairy is a $13 billion industry
  2. Dairy employs people
  3. Dairy feeds lots of people

and there are great graphics to explore it further

Legendairy 2

Extensive research shows consumers want ‘safe, affordable, nutritious food produced by people they trust to do the right thing by animals and the environment’

So the obvious question is: Do those three messages provide consumers of dairy with the confidence that Australian dairy farmers provide ‘safe, affordable, nutritious food produced by people they trust to do the right thing by animals and the environment’

Answer: I will leave that up to you to decide

Some food for thought before you answer

If our lives depend on food for survival lets put ourselves for example in the shoes of some-one who has a life threatening disease or their child has a life threatening disease. Do you think that person is interested in how much the medical profession contributes to the economy, how many people it employs or how many people it treats?

So let’s pose a few more questions I am confident I know the answer too

Question: Who is interested in agriculture’s contribution to the economy?

Answer: Government

Question: Who is proud the dairy industry contributes to the economy?

Answer: Dairy farmers

Question: Who do these 3 key messages impress?

Answer: Government and dairy farmers

As some-one who has been involved in agriculture for close to sixty years I know people don’t choose a career as a food and fibre producer with the sole purpose of making money.

As a farmer and a pharmacist I know which career paid the bills reliably, educated the child, and funded the holidays and the superannuation ad infinitum

People in the main DO go into food and fibre production because they want to supply ‘safe, affordable, nutritious food and quality fibre in a way that does the right thing by animals and the environment’

and it IS backed up by research

Australia farmers’ decisions to adopt conservation practices are more influenced by attachment to the land, wanting to make their farms appear well managed, and aesthetic appreciation than by financial incentives.

The big question I would love to know the answer to is.  Why farmers in the main don’t think it’s sexy to say so?

Let’s give our industry bodies a mandate to share that our values match our customers and fine tune our keys messages to enable us to do this is a way that resonates with our most important audience.

Author: Lynne Strong

I am a 6th generation farmer who loves surrounding myself with optimistic, courageous people who believe in inclusion, diversity and equality and embrace the power of collaboration. I am the founder of Picture You in Agriculture. Our team design and deliver programs that inspire pride in Australian agriculture and support young people to thrive in business and life

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