Farm Food Facts

It's National Ag Day!

March 23, 2020 USFRA Episode 69
Farm Food Facts
It's National Ag Day!
Chapters
Farm Food Facts
It's National Ag Day!
Mar 23, 2020 Episode 69
USFRA

Today is National AG Day and in celebration we have with us Greg Horstmeier, the current Chair of AG Council of America and its editor in chief of the digital content newsroom for DTN Progressive Farmer. He grew up on a general crop and livestock farm in central Missouri following high school. Earned a degree in agriculture journalism from the University of Missouri at Columbia, with emphasis in agriculture, economics and photo journalism. He's covered agriculture stories in every U. S. State except Alaska and has traveled and written about agriculture and farming in Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe and Africa, and is here to tell us about the changes for this year's National Agriculture Day. 

Show Notes Transcript

Today is National AG Day and in celebration we have with us Greg Horstmeier, the current Chair of AG Council of America and its editor in chief of the digital content newsroom for DTN Progressive Farmer. He grew up on a general crop and livestock farm in central Missouri following high school. Earned a degree in agriculture journalism from the University of Missouri at Columbia, with emphasis in agriculture, economics and photo journalism. He's covered agriculture stories in every U. S. State except Alaska and has traveled and written about agriculture and farming in Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe and Africa, and is here to tell us about the changes for this year's National Agriculture Day. 

Phil:   0:01
Farm Food Facts.Where every Farmer, every acre and every voice matter. Welcome to Farm Food Facts for March 24th 2020. I'm your host, Phil Lempert. Today is National AG Day and in celebration we have with us Greg Horstmeier, the current Chair of AG Council of America and its editor in chief of the digital content newsroom for DTN Progressive Farmer. He grew up on a general crop and livestock farm in central Missouri following high school. Earned a degree in agriculture journalism from the University of Missouri at Columbia, with emphasis in agriculture, economics and photo journalism. He's covered agriculture stories in every U. S. State except Alaska. Gotta find out why and then has traveled and written about agriculture and farming in Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe and Africa, and is here to tell us about the changes for this year's National Agriculture Day. So, Greg, first, welcome the Farm Food Facts.

Greg:   1:06
Thank you. Feels great to be here and be part of this.

Phil:   1:08
So, you know, I know that every year there's a different theme for National AG Day. This year, food brings everyone to the table probably more meaningful this year than ever before. you probably couldn't have figured out how more people were going to be eating at home. But before we get to that, you got to tell me, How come you've never been to Alaska?

Greg:   1:29
Just one of those things. I've never had the opportunity to be there if I'm I always thought, if I could get there, I want to spend the chunk of time in that part of the world and I just never had that much of all of my schedule. So we'll get there someday.

Phil:   1:40
Well, good, you should. In fact, I was actually a judge for Don't Laugh the Symphony of Salmon, which takes place in Alaska every year a few years ago. And it's absolutely beautiful place. Let's let's focus on national agday. Obviously, the world has changed a lot from the time that you started planning National agday 2020 what was planned and what's gonna happen now?

Greg:   2:05
Well, we obviously had a full day of advance planned for Agday in Washington, D. C. A number of speeches and sessions at USDA near the mall There, we also had planned tow, have some equipment, some farm equipment on the National Mall, one of the big goals for the committee this year was to increase the visibility of that event to folks who just happened to be in Washington, D. C. May we always get good participation of folks who within agriculture and part of the group. But we wanted to make sure that anybody just walking by was realizing what was going on. Okay, so I had a lot of plans, a lot of folks coming together to get those things happening. And then, obviously, unfortunately, we had to had to cancel those plans. A CZ This crisis began toe.

Phil:   2:56
I think one of the things that I'm most impressed about with National agday beyond the events is really the core values. Understanding how food and fiber products are produced, appreciating the role that agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products. Third value the essential role of agriculture and maintaining a strong economy. And, lastly, acknowledged and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food and fiber industry. Four. Really terrific core values. Um, and what you describe, you know, having farm equipment on the mall and things like that certainly reinforces it. But in today's world, especially with social media, with everything that's going on, how are you going to focus on these four core values? This 2020 national agday?

Greg:   3:50
Great question and, you know, to start off. It's unfortunate that these events have had to be canceled to physically get together, but we are blessed to have the technology that we have today. You mentioned social Media and some of the other thing. So since the day that we a couple weeks ago, that we were pretty sure we were going to be canceling the events, all the members of the committee and everybody that part of Agday, it's been working really hard to figure out. How can we still celebrate those? How can we still celebrate agriculture? How could we still work toward those values through social media? Through a lot of virtual events were working with a lot of our media partners, and I just happen to be the editor of one. But we have a number of media partners in agriculture that they're part of this, that we're going to be having articles and blog's and videos. They'll probably the additional podcasts like this one every way. We can too continue to talk about agriculture. Now you know. Obviously, some of that is speaking to the choir. You know, most of us in the media my day job are talking to farmers every day. And we're not talking to the broader audiences out there that we're We're working the ways Thio use our social media to drive people outside of of agriculture. To some of this content, my own world will be using our Facebook and Twitter, too. Let anybody that follows us. And we do have a lot of in the social media world a lot of non egg folks who follow us for various reasons. And so we using all of and used to try to try to get these, these points out one of the big parts of the event to anybody that's ever gone. Here is the number of of young folks high school four h f f A A f A. Students who come to Washington, D. C. And gets the chance to be there and be part of that. And then also it's a chance for them to visit with their local legislators in Congress and talk about agriculture issues and bring those issues up to the legislators. And we'll do that virtually. We've got a long chunk of, ah day scheduled with the number of learning and training sessions. And we're gonna take this time to help those students be even better at the things that they would be doing, how to talk to people, how to get your point across, how to visit with people who are different than you are and make your make your points to maybe an audience that that doesn't understand things in the depth that you do. So we're gonna focus a lot on those issues. And then you know, when the sun shines again and when when this issue goes away and we can actually get out there and do some things physically, those young folks will be prepared to do that.

Phil:   6:30
You also mention that we're preaching to the choir of it. What about you today? So many farmers have terrific blog's have terrific podcasts. How can they really support national agday through through their distribution channels, Some of which goes to, you know, a lot of consumers that want to know about agriculture?

Greg:   6:55
Absolutely. I think that's a great question, and I think I suspect we'll get a lot of participation through through some of those individuals. Many of those folks who have great followings, either on Twitter or on their own podcasts, are through. Facebook and other social media have been part of this and have been a part of agday in the past. You know, we're reaching out to as many of those folks as we can to get them to continue. Thio do even more to talk about agriculture on that day. Specifically, normally they would have come to D. C and sort of reported on what was happening. But But now that they don't have to travel, you know, that's one of the ways I'm looking at. It is, it's a day that I won't be in the air. But instead of being in the air, I can use that day. Thio further talkto nonfarm audiences drive people to some of the content that we're talking about for those that maybe haven't been part of agday in the past, if they're looking for some of the materials that we have put together and literally things were going up on the Web site as we speak. If they're looking for a place to talk specifically about Agday and they haven't in the past, they could go to the website. It's agday Donna Wood, and there's, ah, number of promotional materials. There's a lot of background information that you can use to their own social device.

Phil:   8:12
So I know that typically, one of one of the highlights of agday, at least for May, is the agday essay contest, which, would, you know, be announced to the winner is you read the essay on March 24th. Since that's not gonna happen when you tell me who the winner is before anybody else knows. And Number two, how are we going to get that essay out there?

Greg:   8:34
Oh, you know, viruses can't pry secrets, so we'll keep that secret. But we will be covering the speech of the essay rather, and we'll be getting that out through a lot of social media. Several of us getting back to those of us that have media outlets that we can work with will be carrying that essay and dry and letting people know how they get a chance to be at that. So we'll be making that announcement on agday as normal. Our goal here is to try to have this day as much as it normally would have been a zoo

Phil:   9:09
can. Well, you know, you're doing a fabulous job, Greg. In spite of everything, and you have our undying support for national agday and really looking forward to listening in on Facebook every other social media channel to find out a who that winner is gonna be and everything that's going on to really support those four core values of national agday. Greg, thanks so much for joining us today. I know it's a very busy time for you on farm food fax.

Greg:   9:41
Thank you so much. We appreciate you and the organization being willing. Thio, help us at this time.

Phil:   9:48
No, these are

Greg:   9:49
These are strange times. And you guys, you're gonna help us get the word out and you appreciate

Phil:   9:55
that. Thanks for listening to today's podcast episode for more information on all things food and agriculture, please visit us U. S. Farmers and ranchers dot org's also be sure to look for us on Facebook at us farmers and ranchers or on Twitter at us fr a until next time