This one-and-a-half-day conference provides new ideas for county Farm Bureau P&E and/or Communication volunteers who are interested in:
- Meeting Farm Bureau members from across the state to share ideas for county programming
- Learning new tools for connecting with consumers via social media, news media or direct consumer interaction
- Helping teach children about food and farming through Agriculture in the Classroom programming
Registration open November 28 - December 12, 2022
Connecting with Consumer Values, The Future of Agriculture podcast
Consumer values and expectations for food choices have expanded beyond traditional drivers of price, safety, taste and convenience. How will you, a leader in agriculture, respond the consumer interest? What can farmers and those in agriculture do to own the messaging around key issues related to climate impact, nutrition and health, connections to authentic sources and social impacts? What drivers are on the horizon for the future of agriculture and food and how can you stay informed?
What’s more northern Michigan than cherries, vineyards, and sand dunes? Bundle up to experience these Traverse City classics in the winter! Learn about the cutting-edge research taking place at the MSU AgBioResearch Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Station, keeping Michigan’s iconic vineyards, cherries, apples, hops and more viable into the future. Then, stop at nearby Shady Lane Cellars to observe their winemaking processes and vineyards. Finally, travel to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Empire where participants will explore the visitor center then take a short ranger-lead hike on one of the dune trails.
Winter attire is recommended for this tour.
Agritourism on your farm provides visitors the chance to get off the beaten commercial tourism path and experience a unique, local connection. Meet the Shooks Family in Central Lake, as they welcome you into their winery, Cellar 1914, and tour their Airbnbs, where visitors are encouraged to take in the fresh country air and learn how their food is grown. Next, tour the Bee Well Meadery in Bellaire to learn how their home brewing grew into a downtown business filled with locals and tourists year-round. Wrap up your tour by enjoying Shorts Brewery to learn how they engage with the community and serve as a prime location for summer events.
11:30 a.m. Registration opens
1:00 p.m. Tours depart
Choose between two different tour routes visiting prominent agriculture and natural resources locations around the Traverse City area. Tours will end with dinner before returning to the hotel. Tour choice must be selected during the registration process.
6:00 p.m. Dinner
8:30 p.m. Top-of-the-Park Hospitality Room
7:00 a.m. Breakfast
7:30-8:30 a.m. Program and Keynote
8:45-9:45 a.m. Breakout First Round
9:45-10:00 a.m. Break
10:00-11:00 a.m. Breakout Second Round (Some sessions repeat from the 8:45 a.m. breakouts)
11:00-11:30 a.m. Break to check out of hotel and network
11:30 a.m. Lunch and program
1:15-1:45 p.m. Mini breakouts
1:45-2:00 p.m. Break
2:00-2:30 p.m. Mini Breakouts Second Round
2:30-2:45 p.m. Break
2:45-4:00 p.m. Connecting Communities Brainstorming by District
In 2024, County Farm Bureaus will be able to draw-down non-competitive grant dollars for execution of local activities in the categories of “Connect and Celebrate” or “Explore and Learn,” as outlined in the grant application. Learn more about this grant application and brainstorm as a district how your county Farm Bureau can connect with consumers in your communities.
Changing the Rhetoric on Climate Change
Tim Hammerich, The Future of Agriculture podcast
We’ve explored how consumer values are shifting to include more than traditional drivers in food choices, like how food and farms may impact climate and weather. So, what can you do to change the rhetoric or respond and be part of the solution? What are you already doing on your farms that needs to be talked about? Join us for this session to learn more about how to rethink practices on your farm and retool how you talk about the things you are doing to that align with consumer values.
Employment Opportunities and Workforce Development in Agriculture: Meeting Future Needs by Taking Action Today
Dr. J. Marcos Fernandes, Professor of Animal Sciences, Purdue University
Two recently released reports – the USDA/NIFA “Employment Opportunities for College Graduates in Food, Agriculture, Renewable Natural Resources and the Environment United States, 2020-2025 Report,” and a 2020 APLU report investigating employability skills gaps of college graduates – have focused our nation’s attention on the continued need to develop our incoming workforce for the myriad of career opportunities in agriculture (approximately 59,400 openings annually). This session will highlight the reports’ findings and hold a discussion on the critical role entities such as Michigan Farm Bureau play in the educational and experiential preparation of the future agricultural workforce and leaders.
How Social Media Influences Consumers (first round only)
Noelle Nachreiner, Michigan Ag Council
Hear from a panel of social media influencers on how their content drives trends and influences consumer decisions and how agriculture can leverage this type of marketing to build trust in farming. We will also discuss ways farmers can create their own social media following to demonstrate, educate and influence consumers on modern agriculture.
Connecting Consumers to your Farm
Mollie Woods, MSU Product Center
Description coming soon!
How do you want to be Perceived?
Dr. John C. Besley, Ellis N. Brandt Professor of Public Relations, Michigan State University
How do we foster behavioral trust in science? Gain insight from current research and a framework for making strategic choices about how to behave and communicate in ways that highlight integrity, motivation, willingness to listen, shared values, and expertise. The session will also provide an opportunity to reflect on what we know about how people in the agricultural community are perceived and provide opportunities to consider real-world choices about how to communicate trustworthiness both ethically and effectively.
Agricultural Recycling — How it Works and How you can get Involved (second round only)
Tess Van Gorder, Michigan Farm Bureau
Join us for agricultural recycling 101! Learn how recycling works, discover agricultural film plastic recycling opportunities in Michigan, and hear from a panel of your fellow Farm Bureau members featuring successful tire recycling events from across the state.
Host Your Own Farm-to-Table Dinner
Noelle Nachreiner, Michigan Ag Council
Building trust in farmers begins in your own community, and the best way to do that is by bringing people to your farm. But where do you begin? From budget, to centerpieces and promotion, you’ll leave this session with ideas, tools and resources to help you plan and execute a spectacular farm-to-table dinner for your community.
New from P&E (second round only)
Amelia Miller, Michigan Farm Bureau
Think P&E resource speed dating: Move around this fast-paced session, checking out new or updated resources for P&E. See the 2023 AFBF Book of the Year, learn about the 2023 Summer Library Reading Program theme, gather details on commodity fact posters to print, open up FARM Crates and try out the activities, and more!
Hear Me on the Radio (first round only)
County Farm Bureau panel
County Farm Bureaus have developed successful partnerships with local radio stations to share agriculture across the airwaves. Learn how your county could build upon statewide media campaigns through radio partnerships. Follow this simple formula for reaching out to the radio station, planning objectives for each interview, gathering the right members to speak on the topics, and promoting your partnership.
Welcome New P&E Chairs (first round only)
Katelyn Thompson and Alysa Sanford, State P&E Committee
What have you gotten yourself into? Whether you’re taking over the reins of a longstanding P&E program or stepping up to reinvigorate your county’s P&E efforts, you can gain valuable tools to make your life in P&E leadership easier. Sign up to participate in a cohort of new P&E leaders for the next Cultivate Collaboration webinar series to continue this conversation beyond the conference.
Filling Plates as a Family of Companies
Persis Sopariwala, ACF Manager
Interested in giving back to your community? Wish there was a better way to work with your insurance agents? Tired of recreating the wheel? Learn how to magnify your Harvest for All efforts with the free resources and grant programs available through the Agent Charitable Fund (ACF). We’ll cover tips from county Farm Bureaus and agents who have worked together to bring money back to their community food banks and provide plenty of R&D (rip-off and duplicate-able) materials.
Career AG-xploration: If They Can See It, They Can Be It
Karrie Brown, Agribusiness Talent Council/West Michigan Works!
Parents play an important role in a child’s career decisions but can’t always attend field trips and career fairs that take place during the school day. Career AG-xploration is a hands-on career exploration experience at a public location for parents and students to learn about careers in agribusiness side-by-side. It breaks down barriers and increases interest in careers in this industry across generations. Attend this session to learn about these events and how to bring this idea to your community.
The Farm Bill in 30 minutes (second round only)
Loren Koeman, MFB Lead Economist
Description coming soon!