Chelcie Cremer~Central MT Regional Manager
The New Year brings a fresh start. It is a time for resolutions and new ideas to take hold and direct us through the following months. For many of us in agriculture that resolution should be to start talking. In this week’s Focus on Agriculture, Julie Murphree of Arizona Farm Bureau talks about conversations between farmers and ranchers and the people who consume our goods. These conversations are beginning to revolutionize the way others think about the agricultural industry and we need to do all we can to build that momentum in 2012. According to Murphree’s article, research conducted by Maslansky Luntz & Partners, what we say and what consumers hear are often two different things. The research also indicated that farmers and ranchers use technical terms and words that are industry specific; which do not necessarily result in consumers gaining a sound understanding of what we do. So, what does this mean for all of us? The good news is that while consumers still have many questions, they trust farmers and ranchers. We have a responsibility to deliver the answers they need to hear. If that means learning to explain our every-day practices in the utmost detail and defining all of our terms and acronyms, then we must do it.
In many ways, this same attitude can benefit you when recruiting members for your county Farm Bureau. Recruiting new members is one of the most important parts of having a successful, healthy county Farm Bureau, but it has become a struggle for many county members to find the time to go recruiting. You can view new members like consumers; they may have heard of Farm Bureau and know a little about the organization, but it is up to you to ensure they understand what it is we do every day. So, do not be afraid to have that conversation with your neighbor, explain the basics of our organization, but more importantly share your story. Telling them why you got involved and what Farm Bureau has done for you packs a bigger punch than solely discussing all the benefits associated with a membership. Instead of trying to sell a potential member a membership, impress upon them this great opportunity. Farm Bureau members have access to amazing benefits, but more importantly each Farm Bureau member, county, and state has an individual voice. These voices, around the country, are taking our industry back. In 2012, resolve to let your voice be heard.