Marlene Eick - Herdmark Media, Inc

Marlene Eick

Marlene's Blogs

The Power of Storytelling with Janice Person

Working for one of the largest agricultural businesses in the world might seem like an unlikely career for a fourth generation city girl, but if you’ve ever talked to Janice Person you know it makes perfect sense. At her core, Janice is a storyteller and has built a career telling farmers’ stories and helping them tell their own story. In her current role as online engagement director at Monsanto, Janice uses storytelling to help people in online spaces better understand agriculture.
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Engaging Consumers in Food Conversations with Andy Vance

While he describes his career path as meandering, Andy Vance’s experiences as an agricultural broadcaster, business owner and writer have given him a unique perspective on consumer engagement in agriculture. In his current role as account director at Penton, Andy uses these experiences to work with agricultural companies on advertising and marketing strategies. Beyond this, he is also a popular keynote speaker, trainer and consultant for agricultural organizations.
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Celebrating Questions About Food with Hannah Thompson-Weeman

When Hannah Thompson-Weeman turned 8 years old, a family friend gave her a Brown Swiss heifer named Joy to show in 4-H. From that day, she was hooked. Her passion for dairy cows and communications grew as she participated in 4-H, dairy judging teams and the FFA Agricultural Communication Career Development Event. Those experiences led her to two degrees from the agricultural communication program at Ohio State and now, just a few years later, she is the Vice President of Communications at the Animal Agriculture Alliance.
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Maybe you should be on television with Meg Drake

What kind of career is a collegiate livestock judging team member led to? For Meg Drake it was broadcast journalism that turned her talent in giving oral reasons into a career where speaking in front of others is key. Meg has combined this talent with her passion for horses and her education in agricultural communication into a career with start-up television network RIDE TV.
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Back to school special with Joel Penhorwood

When we were little and someone asked what we wanted to be when we grew up, we were often encouraged to give answers something like doctor, teacher or veterinarian. As we got older, we started to learn about more specific jobs and jobs we thought our skills and interests would fit well. Even as we learned more about ourselves and potential careers, it was to rare graduate with the same major with which we entered college. It was even more rare to have locked down our dream job in a field related to our major after graduation. Joel Penhorwood broke all of those stereotypes when he graduated from Ohio State last fall.
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The reason "Why?" is the most important question with Jackie Lackey

If you own a business, or work for one that uses a marketing agency, often times conversations focus on bottom lines and selling a product. There are many of these agencies to help you make great brochures, websites, videos and social media content that talk about your product or service and how great it is. But if you work with Jackie Lackey’s agency, the conversations might be a little more like therapy sessions and the resulting marketing will focus on the company’s “why.”
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Use shared interests to build an audience with Crystal Blinn

When moving from Canada to Kansas for college, Crystal Blinn thought sharing her experiences and interests with friends and family back home on a blog would be a great way to stay connected. While writing about her life and interests she started building an audience beyond her family, an audience that connected with her through blogs about makeup, beauty, turquoise and other shared interests. Crystal also throws in blogs about her passion for farming and cattle. She soon learned that she had built trust with her audience by connecting over shared interests but also sharing little bits of her other passions. Her audience knows if they have questions about where their food came from they knew they could ask the blogger who helped them find their favorite lipstick.
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People don't trust science, they trust people with Dr. Leah Dorman

Dr. Leah Dorman spent her entire education and most of her career learning the science in animal agriculture, using that science to care for animals and to protect livestock from diseases. Then one day she was told that people don’t trust fact and science, they trust people. She was mad. How could people not trust the thing she spent nearly her whole life studying? After being mad about it she learned what this meant and how she could use it as a mom, a farmer and a veterinarian to connect with the non-farm public.
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Let's play nice: Print and social media go hand in hand with Katie Maupin

Children often spend time making up stories and even writing them down, but it isn’t often that a child shows so much interest in writing that their parents start a monthly newsletter for them to have a creative outlet. That is exactly how Katie Maupin’s career in communications really got started, with the Maupin Monthly.
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Food scientists don’t want you to eat the pseudoscience with John Frelka and Matt Teegarden

Processed food, food additives, chemicals and modified foods. All of those phrases sound a bit intimidating, but they are important parts of getting food from the farm to plate and food scientists are the ones making sure that happens safely. But scientists aren’t always the type to want to be the center of attention, which makes communicating about science difficult at times, and has also allowed a lot of poor interpretations of science and pseudoscience to begin dominating the internet. A group of food scientists are hoping to help everyone figure out what is in their food through comedic videos and blogs through their group “Don’t eat the pseudoscience.”
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Beyond Thankful: Agriculture's New Consumer Mindset

"If you ate today, thank a farmer." Trust me, I had one of these stickers too. I grew up on a farm and I’m still very proud of the fact my dad helps feed the world. I always loved the feeling of pride I associate with saying “Thank a Farmer.” It always made me feel significant knowing my family was feeding the world. As I’ve worked at understanding consumers and learning to meet people where they are, I’ve realized, if we're not careful, this same sense of pride can also lead us to a mentality of feeling as though others owe us those thanks.
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Lead with emotion

A story with emotion is a story that connects with us, resonates with us and we can feel like we’re a part of it. We feel like “that could be us!”  Not because we see ourselves in that exact scenario, but because we know what those emotions feel like.
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Meet them where they are at

I grew up on a farm. At the time, my family had a farrow-to-finish hog farm and also grew corn, soybeans and wheat. I was very involved in 4-H and FFA at the local and state levels. I was an agricultural education major. I was what you might call a "farm kid," part of the larger agriculture industry community, maybe even someone who advocates for agriculture. That's me.
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Meet them where they are at

I grew up on a farm. At the time, my family had a farrow-to-finish hog farm and also grew corn, soybeans and wheat. I was very involved in 4-H and FFA at the local and state levels. I was an agricultural education major. I was what you might call a "farm kid," part of the larger agriculture industry community, maybe even someone who advocates for agriculture. That's me.
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