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.
Think back to the last time you wandered around a museum, surrounded by hundreds of years of culture and history, and feeling good about your decision to do something cultured and educational. Do you recall anything you read on the exhibits? If you are as frustrated as we were to realize how little you retained from those exhibits, you might be interested in the agricultural literacy work at The Glass Barn. As Hannah Vorsilak and other staff in Indiana working with The Glass Barn have learned, interactive and engaging content, both in-person and online, makes all the difference in how much people learn and retain.
As a kid growing up on a Christmas tree farm in northwest, Ohio, Matt Reese could often be found writing in his notebook or telling stories to anyone who would listen. One fateful day on the farm, Ed Johnson, a famously trusted farm broadcaster whose voice could be heard on the radio in any milk house, farm truck or school bus stop in the state, stopped by for a visit. Matt’s experience that day may have jump started his interest in agricultural journalism, because after meeting Mr. Johnson, Matt could think of no more interesting career than to visit with farmers, learn their stories and share them with the world.
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.”
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.
It might not be a surprise to you that when the phone rings at Ohio Corn and Wheat, a pleasant voice on the other end of the line answers “Hello, Ohio Corn and Wheat.” What might surprise you, however, is that this office actually serves three separate organizations, all leveraging the expertise of one staff. On this week’s episode of The Story of Agriculture Podcast, we sit down with Stacie Seger, Communications Manager, Ohio Corn and Wheat, and talk about the challenges she’s faced with branding these three groups under one umbrella.
We have all done it, and all felt guilty about it. We pull up to the drive thru at a local fast food establishment and order dinner for the family, because there just wasn’t enough time. There's not enough time to find a recipe that everyone will like, buy all the ingredients and cook it in addition to everything else that demands time in our day. There may even be the added time of learning how to prepare some of the ingredients or even learning the cooking technique. Most of us have dwindling food preparation skills even though we watch more television shows about food than ever before.
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.
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.
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.”
If someone described themselves as having grown up a “beach bum,” and needing to have gone to class more in high school than being out surfing the waves in San Diego, you probably would think they might pursue a career in surfing, or maybe something in Hollywood. But if you’re Scott Stebner you would become a high school ag teacher that started an FFA chapter in a town of a million people in Silicon Valley, and also become a great photographer and ag communicator.
BACON. Do we have your attention yet? If you like bacon as much as we do, that probably worked. How much attention can you grab using a love for bacon? Quinton Keeran of the Ohio Pork Council grabbed more than a quarter million people’s attention on the Ohio Hog Farmers Facebook page using bacon and his skills as a social media strategist.