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The results from last week’s photography survey are back! The overwhelming majority of you want to know more about your DSLR and Photoshop, which I’m crazy excited about! :)
At 17-years-old, I started out with a used and refurbished Canon 20D. I didn’t know anything about my camera or Photoshop, nor did I know anyone who could help me! I became an information hunter and found some fabulous resources. I’m going to share those resources with you today!
I hope these resources help and wish you the very best of luck! If you have any questions, please type them in the box below or shoot me an email at email@example.com. I’ll help in any way I can. :)
Last week, we discussed why it’s important to share photos of farming/agriculture. This week, we’ll talk about creating those photos. It may not be as hard as you think…
Without a doubt, our cell phones are a huge asset to our business. Many of us can hardly remember what it was like without them. Communication with each other in the field is a big deal. But by using your phone’s camera, you not only have the ability to communicate with one other person, you have the ability to communicate with the rest of the population. And that’s a very, very big deal.
Let’s communicate with the rest of the population. Let’s get the right image of agriculture out there.
Now, before you discount cell phone photos, look at these. Beautiful, aren’t they?
Though I’m still learning myself, here are a few tips:
Whether you have a DSLR, point-and-shoot camera or cell phone, you have the capability to showcase our way of life. I plan on blogging often about photography. After all, it’s what I love and probably why you’re here. Though I don’t know it all, I’d love to continue to offer photography tips.
What would you like to know more about? Please check the topics below, and I’ll mold my future posts around your feedback. :)
To borrow a statistic from a previous post, [Seventy-two percent] of consumers know nothing or very little about farming or ranching, which means every farm/ranch impression they get is exceptionally important.
If we leave it up to others, we may not like what they say; we may not like how they portray us. Maybe they will twist the story, show an inaccurate image. The solution?
We must make our own impression. One of the best ways to do this is through photographs. Images have a profound affect on people.
As cliché as this phrase is, it’s absolutely true, which brings me to this week’s challenge.
Happy Monday! Next week, we’ll talk about photography! :)
Most of us know how to carry on a conversation. What’s more difficult is having a conversation with someone who disagrees with you. To borrow words from Holly Spangler, food is a big deal, which makes people passionate about the topic.
In simplest terms…
Conversation + Disagreement + Passion = Heated discussion (at best) or fist fight (at worst)
Can you remember a time that you changed your opinion after a heated argument? Probably not. You probably walked away with even stronger convictions than before.
We have to throw something else into the equation to keep it from becoming a full-blown argument.
common ground. compassion. patience.
Here are a few suggestions:
1. Be human. Food is a very emotional subject matter. Instead of spewing facts* all the time, share your emotions, your story. Where and how we grow up has such an impact on our beliefs and values. The more you share your story, the more people will be able to connect with you.
2. Be nice. I know, I know…when people start throwing dirt at our way of life, our first reaction is to be mad. Mad people say mean things. Mean words won’t help our cause.
When a consumer doesn’t have an opinion on modern ag and comes across a discussion on social media, he/she will probably lean toward siding with the person (whether that person is a farmer or HSUS supporter) who is being kinder, more rational.
Bottom line: People are watching. We have to be nice.
3. Be a good listener. So often we’re very eager to tell our side of the story. We know what we’re going to say before the other person is done talking. Sometimes we even interrupt. The ag community is guilty of this. I’m guilty of this. We’re all guilty of this. Next time you’re involved in a discussion, work on listening, really listening to what the other person is saying. Have an open mind. I think you’ll be surprised at how much better and more enjoyable the conversation is.
To learn by example, read about Katie Pinke’s conversation with an animal rights activist. Here’s a link: http://www.pinkepost.com/2012/01/3-things-learned-from-animal-right.html
Today’s post is dedicated to one of my closest friends and fellow farm girl, Leah Whittaker. Leah lost her battle with cancer one year ago today and went home to Heaven. Deuteronomy 31:6 was her verse all the way through. So this is for her, the girl who made a bigger impact in 19 years than most make in a lifetime, the girl who inspired our ag community and far beyond, the girl we can all learn so much from. Someday, I’ll blog about her, but this is all for now.
Click on the “For Leah” link below for your free high resolution download.
To be effective in our agvocacy efforts, we need to know exactly whom we’re talking to. This requires having a conversation and listening, really listening. I’ve always found it helpful to have some background knowledge on what the average consumer thinks. In no way does this take the place of listening, but it does give us a vague idea to work with.
• 72 percent of consumers know nothing or very little about farming or ranching
• 69 percent of consumers think about food production at least somewhat often
• 70 percent say purchase decisions are affected by how food is grown and raised, with three-quarters (72 percent) of Americans saying they think about this topic while purchasing groceries
• 42 percent or two-in-five Americans say the way that food is grown and raised has improved in the last 10 years, while a slightly smaller group say it has worsened (37 percent)
• Of all the aspects of how food is grown and raised, Americans are most satisfied with the availability of healthy foods (73 percent) and food safety standards (66 percent)
• One in five consumers who say food production has worsened in the last 10 years cite environmental impact as the top area of demise
• 79 percent of consumers say producing healthy choices for all consumers is very important for farmers and ranchers to consider when planning farming and ranching practices
Consumers also were asked to identify the top five topics they want more information about; responses included:
1. How chemicals are used in farming/ranching
2. How pesticides are used in farming/ranching
3. Food safety standards
4. Effect of government regulations on farming/ranching
5. How antibiotics are used and genetic engineering in crops
Now that we have a bit of background information on consumer thinking/knowledge, next week we’ll focus on how to talk to consumers.
When I originally started “Keeping it Real” I thought my photography and design concept would attract urban consumers. They were my target audience. Much to my surprise, quite the opposite happened! The vast majority of you are from rural areas, if not involved in some facet of the ag industry. Since this is a lifestyle we all enjoy and want to protect, we must all be agvocates. The industry needs us. For the next several weeks, I’ll be throwing out ideas on how to better advocate for the industry and lifestyle we so love. Some ideas will be simple and almost effortless, while others will be more involved. Regardless, it’s my hope to give you something to “chew on” (ha!) and keep the meat in our Mondays.
I’m a photographer; and whenever I start a photo session, I ease into the posing. To put it simply, I start with the easy stuff and work up from there. That’s the plan for “Meaty Mondays”. Today’s post is pretty simple stuff.
There is so much to be learned from blogs. For example, I’ve never taken a photography course in my life. Some call that “self taught”. I call it “blog taught”. That’s right, I learned everything I know about photography from blogs. The same can be applied to agriculture. Consumers who have never set foot onto a farm or into an ag classroom can get a bit of “farm experience” by simply reading or following a blog. Today, I’m going to share some of my favorite ag blogs.
Here’s my challenge to you:
My Generation: Written by Holly Spangler of Prairie Farmer. Provides a refreshing, down-to-earth perspective blended with great information on agriculture’s “hot topics”. Scroll all the way down on the page to find a complete list of postings. [link]
Agriculture Proud: Written by Ryan Goodman, rancher and University of Tennessee grad student. Provides an enormous amount of thought-provoking and educational material. This blog was the first I followed when I jumped into the world of agvocacy. If you’re eager to learn and educate, this is a must-read. [link]
*Note: There are hundreds of ag blogs out there. I’m sure I missed some pretty good ones, so feel free to explore!
Happy reading! :)