Tell your story. What to say at your family gathering

Family gatherings are a great time to connect with people in a different way.  Maybe we get to have a different kind of conversation with someone we work with daily.  Or, we get to catch up with someone who we see only once a year. Either way, there will be lots of opportunity to visit this holiday season.  Here are some tips to consider as you agvocate while you socialize.

[Scroll down for the first two ideas, posted yesterday, and then bounce back here for two more tips.]

Share details and explain reasons

How much background knowledge does your audience have?  It is important to connect the on-farm events to the family-life impacts.  To make a complete story you need to give enough detail that people understand how and why the weather, markets, rental agreements or irrigation project impacted your farm life and family life.  So, for instance, this year we used straight cut headers more than we ever had before. Using a straight cut header eliminated the need for a second pass over some of our acres at harvest. This meant my husband and father-in-law spent less hours swathing. It allowed my 80+ year old father-in-law to slow down a bit and meant my husband had fewer crazy-long days.   People can connect more to your ag story if they understand why it mattered in your life.

Talk about the big picture

Sometimes it is easy to concentrate on telling the story of what is happening on your own farm.  However, it is also important to be able to know and share the story of agriculture on a larger scale.  So, for instance last week we were supposed to haul soybeans. However, the elevator was not going to take any soybeans until they had a better understanding of the trade implications between the USA, Canada and China.  For us, this means that we do not collect a paycheque for those beans until we can haul them. It also impacts our logistics and when we are free to haul the other crops we have left in the bins. It is important to share that global markets and trade relationships impact individual farmers.

Telling your ag story is an important way to connect people to the faces of modern agriculture.  Wishing you a fun holiday season of socializing and making connections as you share your story.