Tonight I attended the Alpha Zeta fall activity and listened to keynote speaker Gregg Doud, Chief Economist for NCBA, share his thoughts on the current trends, economics and pressing issues of animal agriculture. Mr. Doud, between stories of his AGR days at KSU, challenged us to do what all agriculture advocates and producers should do: talk. It's our duty to share with consumers the story of how their food is produced and inform them of where it comes from. It's our job to work every day to combat the negative front that anti-ag organizations such as PETA and HSUS.
Mr. Doud is just one of many professionals who spend every day educating the public about the safe production practices that the agriculture industry demonstrates every day. By listening to Mr. Doud, and others, we can learn how to respond to tough media inquiries as if it was second nature. Mr. Doud stated there are three things that a college grad needs to know how to do in order to be hireable by not only NCBA, but hireable by any corporation.
1. Know how to write an email -- these days we use quick emails that have a lot of text lingo in them. That's a surefire way to exemplify your unprofessionalism
2. Know how to conduct a meeting - Calling a meeting to order, running it efficiently and actually accomplishing tasks are things that are often taken for granted by those who have the know-how. If you were in FFA or 4-H, you've got the upper hand on this one.
3. Know the basics of economics - A little supply and demand can serve you well.
Lastly, Mr. Doud stressed the importance of knowing how to represent your industry to the media. We have to know how to answer the tough questions at the drop of a hat. I've been fortunate enough to be able to attend a media training session that was hosted by KLA at one of my Collegiate Cattlewomen meetings. I encourage everyone to try to attend a media training event because you can glean a wealth of information in a very short time.
I encourage you all to engage with professionals of our industry if given the opportunity. They haven't been the leaders of the industry for 20 years for nothing.
If you'd like to read more about my thoughts on being proactive against anti-ag organizations, read my feature in Chuck Jolley's article on Cattle Network - http://www.cattlenetwork.com/Jolley---Is-The-Anti-Ag-Disease-Spreading-To-K-State/2009-10-25/Article.aspx?oid=928957
Labels: advocacy, Gregg Doud, livestock production