Lifestyle News

Ag communications boot camp helps with outreach skills


For those invested in the agriculture industry, we know that telling our story is important — because if we don’t, someone else will. In an effort to provide the right tools for telling our story, American Farm Bureau Federation hosts a communication boot camp. Thirteen farm and ranch women leaders graduated from the fall session of the Women’s Communications Boot Camp.

The intensive four-day course completed by the agricultural leaders featured hands-on sessions related to public speaking, working with the media, and messaging. Graduates will use their training in a variety of ways including participating in local media opportunities to support Farm Bureau’s policy work, sharing information with elected officials, and joining social media campaigns to share positive messages about agriculture.

“With less than 2% of the population engaged in farming or ranching, it’s essential to equip women leaders in outreach skills they can use to connect with members of the non-farming public at the local, state and national levels,” said Isabella Chism, an Indiana row crop farmer and chair of the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee.

Boot Camp graduates are: Lydia Haynes, Alabama; Monica Thornburg, Alaska; Hayley Andrus, Arizona; Vickie Bryant, Kentucky; Roslyn Simon, Louisiana; Karin Bump, New York; Stephanie Frisbee, North Carolina; Cindy Cassell, Ohio; Adele Flynn, Ohio; Andrea Brown, Pennsylvania; Katie Martin, Tennessee; Livvy Preisser, Virginia; and Christa Douglass, Washington.

“More than one-third of farmers and ranchers are women,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall.  “They are some of the most passionate advocates for agriculture on social media and in our communities. I’m proud AFBF offers training and support each year to encourage women to increase engagement and step into leadership roles.”

The American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee, in partnership with AFBF staff, hosts and provides training for the Women’s Communications Boot Camp. This the 15th year of the program, which has 223 graduates and is open to all women involved in Farm Bureau. An application process is used to select the participants. A spring session of Boot Camp will be conducted March 22 to 25, with applications opening at the end of November.

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