Communicating Ag

Women’s Committee Handbook

As a Farm Bureau leader, you are uniquely qualified to speak on behalf of Florida’s farmers and ranchers. Your peers have asked you to perform this and other duties because of their confidence in you.

In your role as a spokesperson you can make a difference by communicating information to the non-farm public. We hope the suggestions in this document will help you accomplish this important goal. Agriculturists account for 1% of our national population. If you do not speak for yourself and your livelihood, someone outside of production agriculture with a very different agenda may take your place in public discourse.

Under such circumstances the result in either policy formulation or implementation can be disastrous. Given the recurrent problems that have emerged with food safety, for example, your livelihood can be put at an immediate risk if consumers do not receive accurate, reliable information about the responsible, state-of-the-art methods of production adopted by most farmers and ranchers.

Remember that no one is a perfect spokesperson. Everyone makes errors. But you can minimize them as you gain more experience.

Why You Are an Excellent Spokesperson for Agriculture

Nobody knows your farm or ranch better than you do. You are the expert on the natural resources, the production processes and the management skill required to generate a harvest that can sustain you and your family while providing food and fiber for our nation and the world.

According to surveys commissioned by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the general public has a positive opinion of farmers and farm families. This attitude gives you a tremendous advantage in seeking to direct attention to the agriculturist’s perspective on public policy questions. The public is predisposed to give you a fair hearing before you ever start to write or say anything.

The more you serve as a spokesperson, the more frequently news media representatives will contact you when they are working on stories that involve your livelihood. Once a reporter or an editor determines that you offer reliable information and you are willing to make yourself available, you can become a regular news source.

The FFBF Public Relation’s Department provides customized PR workshops to help women be more confident in speaking to the media and being the voice of Florida agriculture. To request a workshop, contact Rachael Smith.