I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream…

Connecting Gate to Plate Blog

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream…

What's your favorite advocacy flavor?

Ahhh, ice cream.  A rite of summer. Whether a simple cone, a sundae or huge banana split – ice cream is the indulgence of choice for our family. We’ve been known to plan summer trips around where we can sample ice cream.  And ice cream is one of those foods that is even better when eaten with friends…

The same can be said for getting information out there about food, whether you’re on the farm or consumer side of the plate – or somewhere in between.  So, in celebration of National Ice Cream month and a new website, I’m asking readers to share your favorite scoop of advocacy with each other.

Your flavor could be a great recipe, food tips, a quick example of how you tell your farm story, an idea of how we can better “agvocate” in the future, ways you’ve used social media to talk about food/fuel/feed/fiber, programs on food literacy, photos of educational events, a great blog – whatever you’d like to share that’s connected to food or farm.  Let’s make this party worthy of the “I scream, you scream, we all scream” title! I’ll even throw in a $25 gift certificate to a local ice cream shop and an hour of phone time to chat about agvocacy ideas with the person with the most flavorful scoop. Just add your ideas in the “leave a reply box” below prior to the end of National Ice Cream Month (until July 31).

Etiquette for the party is simple.  1) Don’t drip on anyone else – keep it clean.  2) Keep it fun – and real.  3) Share as many scoops as you’d like in separate entries.  4) Enter with a name in case you win the good stuff.  5) Get your friends involved (“like” the new homepage, tweet about this party, share the link).  6) I  may tweet or share your scoop on my Facebook fan page so even more can enjoy, so let me know if you don’t want your name attached.

Truth be told, I can out-eat people twice my size when it comes to ice cream.  I exercise so I can eat ice cream guilt-free. And, it’s my favorite breakfast, though motherhood has sadly limited that practice.  Help me celebrate National Ice Cream Month and a new website in style – share your flavors of advocacy.  Hopefully I won’t eat a scoop of ice cream for every advocacy scoop, but who knows?


  1. DeEtta Bohling on July 21, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    If you are at a party and start yelling facts about yourself, you are the “weird one” at the party. It’s the same in social media. It’s about engaging in conversations and building relationships. I think sometimes we get so caught up in spreading a message, rather than building those relationships. Just a little something for us to reflect on and consider in the future.

    • Michele Payn-Knoper on July 21, 2010 at 5:41 pm

      Excellent point, though people have permission to talk away at this party. You are correct that building relationships is just as important as spreading a message. Thanks for being the first one in the door!

  2. Jan on July 21, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Learn when not to respond and say all you’re thinking. (gonna repeat that about 20 times right now)

    • Amanda on July 21, 2010 at 7:54 pm

      And you are doing a wonderful job! I totally agree with this, even though it is especially hard when people are trying to be argumentative.

    • Michele Payn-Knoper on July 21, 2010 at 8:54 pm

      Jan, that’s an excellent policy – keep it professional and agree to disagree, or it might turn into an ice cream fight!

  3. Jodi Termine on July 21, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    I just wanted to thank all of the farmers and ranchers that have gone out of their way to take pictures or videos and then Tweet them or post them on Facebook. It’s easy for us to take for granted the everyday things that we do on our farm or ranch. Share the sunset, share a birth of a baby animal and give people a chance to understand why you mix “Water and Poo.” People want to learn where their food comes from. Farmers and ranchers are the experts!

    • Michele Payn-Knoper on July 21, 2010 at 8:55 pm

      Absolutely – those pictures and videos are worth a thousand words. Speaking of which, did you know tomorrow is your chance to film something for a Day in the Life of America?

      • Jodi Termine on July 21, 2010 at 9:13 pm

        Actually! We are heading to the ranch this weekend and I will be filming something!!! How cool is that!

  4. Amanda on July 21, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    I think my favorite part of joining any agvocacy party is meeting new people. Even though you’d think it would be hard to make a connection with someone you’ve never met, I have been amazed at how many kindred spirits have touched base through things like #agchat. Always try to connect through media to the real person–that’s often way more important than the message being sold.

    • Michele Payn-Knoper on July 21, 2010 at 8:57 pm

      Amazing to see the community built – by folks who once thought they were well connected.

  5. Andy Dellava on July 21, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Every now and then I post something ‘lite’ (vanilla in ice cream parlance) about farming, as most of my herd of FB friends are non-ag. And, I then invite them to consider me a resource if they ever have questions/concerns about food production. A few have, and I know from some subsequent contact that they disseminate some of the ‘truths / facts’ to their friends.

    • Michele Payn-Knoper on July 21, 2010 at 8:56 pm

      I’ve been dumbfounded by hearing some of my professional speaker friends begin quoting info about food. Truly teaches you the power of sharing snippets – and putting a reliable face, armed with relationships.

  6. Willie on July 21, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    Agvocacy is not easy, when you’re confronted by the evangelists of the “back to the future” food movement. I like the idea of taking a deep breath, counting to 10, and figuring out how to make at least one point. But then again, that’s not so easy. Thanks to the farmers who do tell their stories and share using social media. It’s going to take awhile to get through…but I believe it’s working.

  7. Tom Tibbits on July 21, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    I’ve learned to speak from experience, people will listen when you passionately tell stories of what you do. When talking about efficiency, speak of it in terms of reducing resources. We operate in a business of tight margins, but we can come across as greedy when discussing economics. With some thought and the right approach we can be very convincing.

    • Michele Payn-Knoper on July 23, 2010 at 12:09 am

      Tom, great perspective – we often talk about profitability rather than what’s important to others. Great positioning on reducing resources – and factual around modern food, feed, fuel & fiber production.

  8. Nancy Friesen on July 21, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Our children that are no longer on the farm, but love the farm, are great advocates for agriculture. When they hear untruths about the farm they are all about setting the record straight.

    • Michele Payn-Knoper on July 23, 2010 at 12:10 am

      Excellent, hope you’ll encourage them to perhaps return to their agrarian roots some day – and ensrue your grandchildren know the truths and untruths.

  9. Chad Smith on July 22, 2010 at 12:27 am

    Social media is something that’s really been an eye opener! I once thought I was well connected as a broadcaster until I ventured into social media for the first time and found so many good people who were so willing to open themselves up to share their story.. So many people have been willing to answer my questions and they have helped me become a better Farm Broadcaster, and made me even more enthusiastic about telling agriculture’s story than ever before! Don’t be afraid to tell you’re story, and… just for the record, gimme a huge bowl of chocolate ice cream with chocolate syrup on top! What can I say… I like chocolate!

    • Michele Payn-Knoper on July 23, 2010 at 12:12 am

      Yes, it is an eye opener, Chad. It offers connections and more information – as well as misinformation- than we could fathom.

      Chocolate is grand, especially in combination with nuts. 🙂 Sorry it took me all day to get the comment – I was judging a cow show & couldn’t access technology. That would have been a sight!

      • Chad on July 26, 2010 at 10:55 pm

        Actually, I’m shocked at the amount of misinformation that is out there. People see things on the internet and more often than not, think it’s gospel truth just because it’s on the internet! I don’t think most folks realize that it’s NOT regulated. I wish more people would take the initiative and investigate things for themselves to see if they are true!

  10. Anita Stuever on July 22, 2010 at 12:34 am

    Research shows that simply *knowing* a farmer makes consumers more positive toward agricultural production. So get to know your non-farm neighbors, people you meet at church, on the bus, at the grocery store–wherever. Silence often implies acceptance, so when somebody says something that’s just not right, I can’t let it pass. Once a class instructor said she felt sorry for calves in hutches so I pointed out that housing calves together in a pen is a great way to spread disease. She said she simply didn’t know that–and stopped saying she felt sorry for calves in hutches. One more person was educated–and it took only a minute.

  11. Tara Litzenberger on July 22, 2010 at 1:22 am

    My favorite is sharing the small stuff. It’s easy for us to forget just how cool some parts of farming are, be it the view from a tractor cab or talking about animals. You never know what will get someone’s attention, and it helps me remember why I love what I do. It also takes pressure off to remember that every tweet or post doesn’t have to be profound. Sometimes, they can be slices of daily life that help people build a picture.

    So, would that be sprinkles? The delicious Heath bar chopped up & mixed in?

    • Michele Payn-Knoper on July 23, 2010 at 6:07 pm

      Great points on the small stuff – and yes, I think that would be sprinkles!

  12. Kathryn Reed on July 22, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    I am lucky enough to work for a land grant university in alumni relations and special event programming and have had seized opportunities to feature Agriculture, Extension and Natural Resources topics into campus-wide programming, exposing 1,000s of children and adults to these topics. Two examples – the University has a 2.5 day camp where this year over 900 adults and children from 35 states came to campus for 2.5 days of educational learning. Of the 93 classes offered by 20 different colleges and units 25 of the classes represented topics from our college and extension. The second example is providing programming ideas/instructors to our Alumni Association’s Evening College programming. Spring Semester 2010 the most popular class the program offered was 4 weeks long about “Back Yard Chickens” taught by one of our Extension poultry specialists. This coming Fall semester a food preservation class will be featured over three weeks.

    In my private life, I had a couple of my college roommates help me put up corn last summer. Both of them are in their mid30s and it was the first time either of them had ever picked sweet corn – little less prepared it for freezing. My 7 year old son does it better and faster than they did, but I am not complaining.

  13. Luv Hahn on July 22, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    I am in agreement with Tara, I love the small stuff. I love posting a picture or sharing as story about checking on a cow at 1a.m. It is the simple things like going to the county fair & sharing your animals with those who don’t get a chance to have contact with them. Nothing brings a smile like watching a parents & child’s eyes light up when they pet a cow for the first time. It is also a great chance to connect & tell about agriculture & answer any questions. This year I did more of that then ever before & loved it! Thanks for all the great work from all the Agvocates, I have learned so much & continue to do so! Sometimes it gets to be a Rocky Road but if we continue to tell our stories I believe it all works out & the road is smooth like vanilla!

  14. sue on July 22, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    We love our dairies here in Maryland. It took a while, but we now have 8 dairies with on-farm processing licenses and 11 more lined up to make their own cheese (raw milk cheese too), yogurt, ice cream, bottled milk, and quark (new word for me today) and sell on the farm too. That’s up from almost none 3 years ago. keeping our customers and farmers happy and on the farm.

  15. Dean Sparks on July 22, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    I am always so surprised and nearly shocked at the divide between CONSUMERS in regard to organic vs. conventional agriculture. I was in NYC yesterday, and this fine young woman looks at me and says “How am I suppose to get along w/conventional farmers when they have been poisoning my kids?”

    Speaks volumes to me about how far we have to go w/education. Although I am a true believer in organic ag as a more sustainable form, I am also a realist and assume conventional farming will be around forever (how ever will we feed the world?).

    Anyway, I spent a lot of time listening, very little time talking, and walked away by saying this: “Don’t ever blame the farmers…they have been hood winked into this by Big Ag for generations.”

    She smiled, shook her head a bit and said back “NO…no….you’re right about that…..”

  16. John Reddish on July 22, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Memories: Howard Johnson’s sugar cones with their chunky peach ice cream on the bottom and their seedy raspberry sherbet on top – two scoops of wonderment for a young boy.
    Recipe: Farm Fresh In Season – Fresh tomato sauce for 1 – Take a fresh tomato from your vine or local farm stand, slice off top and bottom, score skin on two sides and place in a microwave safe bowl, add in finely diced garlic, chopped onion and bell pepper and basil to taste, drizzle with olive oil and add in your favorite spices (usually oregano, salt and pepper) and cook in your microwave for :05. Remove tomato skin and chop the cooked sauce. Pour over, or toss, with your choice of cooked pasta. For multiple servings, just multiply the ingredients. Takes :10 at most!
    This Summer: The root beer floats are just delicious!

    • Michele Payn-Knoper on July 24, 2010 at 12:23 am

      Yum on all counts. Thanks for the memories, recipe and reminder on root beer. I enjoyed one this morning with the little tweep.

  17. Jenna Kromann on July 22, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    I have used SM sites such as Facebook and Twitter many times to spread the good word about agriculture. Even sharing the small things about agriculture that we, who have grown up with agriculture all of our lives, think is common knowledge, can really open somebody from the non-farming world’s eyes. Using Facebook and Twitter to post status and tweets about ag and what is going on is key because this how people are communicating today! Even sharing whacky things, like corn ice cream, can really get their attention. Speaking of that, please check out http://www.mncorn.org and see how corn ice cream is made and where you can get it! It’s a-maize-ing! Corny, I know but I couldn’t resist.

    • Michele Payn-Knoper on July 24, 2010 at 12:22 am

      Great ways to use SM with small messages to make a big difference. And throughout this party, I keep hearing about corn ice cream. I like corn, I support corn, I help corny people. But corn ice cream? Ugh. Sorry, just sayin’ it’s a little gross sounding…

  18. Brent Pohlman on July 22, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Agriculture is one of the most exciting areas to be involved with. Exciting news everyday! You never know what to expect. Agvocacy is taking this one step up the ladder with passion. It starts with a passion for people, really caring about people’s needs and we know the second greatest need is food. Creating, Living, Caring – That is what I like about Agvocay and I see it everyday in people face-to-face, online through stories and comments and especially through personal experience. Its great to be a part of something special! Brent Pohlman | Midwest Laboratories

  19. Jennifer Lewis on July 23, 2010 at 2:25 am

    I use Facebook, Twitter and a Blog to share the great news of Agriculture! But I think, for me, the most rewarding aspect of these is Facebook. I have connections all over the United States and posting a photo of anything AG related just gets these people motivated to find out more…I love the interaction!! I recently posted a photo of an Amish field with Oat piles and discussed what they would do with them. Immediately I had comments, and even from a few with Ag connections who hadn’t even thought about the process. It was very rewarding to see the interest! This is the motivation to keep telling “my” story, and to “share” other stories, like this one! Please pass the peanuts for my hot fudge sundae!! With whip cream, of course!

  20. Robin Rastani on July 23, 2010 at 4:15 am

    There are so many ways to advocate.

    It’s personal and fun… just like ice cream.
    Advocacy: Some like one on one conversations. Some like blogging. Some like engaging adults, while others like teaching children.
    Ice Cream: Some like chocolate…. others like vanilla.

    Everyone has different tactics… just like ice cream.
    Advocacy: Some chat up their neighbors, others their friends. Some use social media. Others bring dairy products into work during dairy month.
    Ice Cream: Some prefer a cone… others a cup. Some like it plain… others like syrups, whip cream and cherries.

    From experience I’ve learned to:
    1. Do what feels right
    2. Make time for the things that matter
    3. Enjoy every minute of it

    Advocacy & ice cream meet all those criteria…. looks like I’m stuck with ’em!

    • Joanna on July 23, 2010 at 6:41 pm

      Robin: You’ve really summed it up well. I think about all the “stuff” you have to sometimes go through/weed through until you realize how to execute #1,#2, and #3 above!

      • Dean Sparks on July 25, 2010 at 12:28 pm


        I appreciate you efforts, but can I ask “what is the message?” Is our message to support ag in the US vs. China? Seems to me we have a really unfocused message….what do you think?

        • Robin Rastani on July 26, 2010 at 1:43 am


          My message is to support ag and farmers in the US. I try to do this through engaging people in messages about what they eat. Everyone eats… it’s our commonality.

  21. Nancy Kavazanjian on July 23, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    Jamoca Almond Fudge is the perfectly dreamly blend of coffee, nuts and chocolate to feed my ice cream cravings!

    • Michele Payn-Knoper on July 23, 2010 at 6:13 pm

      Sounds yummy. So what’s a perfectly dreamy blend of learning about food?

  22. Shelley Armour on July 23, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    When I was coming home (to NC) from Dallas, TX I had a shuttle driver that was talkitive (and so I am!) and I mentioned I work with farmers and he asked me what I think about agriculture and the press. I told him my story- pointing out a few things that were inaccurate about animal welfare (my fav topic) and encouraged him to share his also- he kept saying “without farmers we don’t eat”. I pointed out to him that he can advocate for agriculture without being a farmer. He was very knowledgable and I also told him he’s in a great position as he meets people everyday driving a hotel shuttle! It was interesting to watch what I said sink it- I think we have another agvocate on our team!

    • Robin Rastani on July 26, 2010 at 1:45 am

      Great story Shelley! We all eat, and that’s our commonality- FOOD! Just encouraging people to “Thank a farmer” makes them realize all the work that went into making it.


  23. Shelley Armour on July 23, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Another thing I do is on my FB page I post (at least try to) at least one agriculture article a day. Sometimes they are research articles, sometimes news and sometimes just funny. I have over 300 FB friends and while some are directly involved in ag- many aren’t!

  24. Joanna on July 23, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Networking is so important. To share ideas, to learn new ideas, spread good information. And now, with the information superhighway it’s easier and exponentially faster than ever. So weather its the office, Facebook, Twitter, a farm bureau meeting, the auto body or the hair salon I’m always ready if the opportunity presents itself to share my story and hear others.

  25. Joanna on July 23, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    I like to get the ball rolling. I like to keep it rolling. I like to look back and see where the ball has rolled and where its rolling now.

    I work with all sorts of people and in one capacity, I volunteer for 4-H. I’m of the age now (translate = getting older!) where I stop and look around and see young adults that I worked as kids with starting new careers and making their way in their communities. And I’m happy for and proud of them and the good message they carry on about agriculture.

    I can’t tell you in words how awesome it was when one of these young adults came and thanked me for forcing her to do her dairy judging oral reasons (I vividly remember her telling me very matter-of-factly “I refuse to give my oral reasons”). Her new skills that we worked on led to increased confidence, a better ability to reason and defend her judgements and to a career in teaching where she speaks in front of a group everyday. And again that she knows that she can tell her own story.

    It’s a pretty powerful thing.

    • Michele Payn-Knoper on July 26, 2010 at 11:41 am

      Love hearing stories of 4-H & FFA members we help that go on to contribute to ag!

  26. Ashley Messing on July 23, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    The thing I always try to remember whether I’m advocating in person or through social media, is to not hit the science too hard. Most people not coming from an agriculture background don’t care about the science, rather they just care that we want to do the right thing. I do discuss a little science, but I don’t overwhelm them and focus on it. Instead I focus on the fact that we care about the environment, our land and our livestock because it’s the right thing to do.

    • Michele Payn-Knoper on July 24, 2010 at 12:18 am

      Appreciate your point, Ashley. It’s impossible to look at the nutrition of ice cream until you determine it tastes good, right? Then you’re looking for justification to support your decision. Same can be said for advocacy – have to lead with what’s appealing to the other person, then add bites of science in a digestible way.

  27. […] Ice Cream Posted by Michele Payn-Knoper under Uncategorized Leave a Comment  I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream… Share your "agvocacy scoop" at the new […]

  28. Whitney Wallace on July 27, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Probably not a surprise that I would choose “Tiger Stripe” ice cream, which is representative of the Missouri Tigers, and was developed at Mizzou’s food science department! However, I relate it to SM by comparing the black and gold stripes that make up this yummy ice cream to the differing views and opinions that are shared online through communities like Facebook and Twitter. Just like the mixture of this gold colored French Vanilla and the dark brown fudge stripe, conversations meld together in harmony (most times!!) to allow for folks to be educated and see different perceptions.

    Even during some of those difficult conversations, I feel empowered because I have the opportunity to connect with someone who can help me better understand ideas I’m not familiar with. It is this combination of many flavors (like the Tiger Stripe ice cream) that helps us make better decisions and represent our cause more effectively. Plus, the relationships make my heart smile…which is pretty darn similar to my feelings about ice cream!

    Thanks for the creative idea, Michele! You’re so great at what you do 🙂

  29. Shelley Armour on July 27, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Here’s a “scoop” Homemade Ice Cream! When you are able to get local homemade ice cream you not only are agvocating for local agriculture but let’s face it- 99.999% of the time it’s WAY better than store bought! Might have something to do with the fact you can get a serving of ice cream with milk fat and not watered down ice cream or stuff without good old milk fat! Now that’s a way to cool down- and get to talk to local farmers to learn their stories…those are the best stories to share with non-ag people in the future!

  30. Kelly Rivard on July 27, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    If you’re going advocate anything, you have to spice it up. If you’re going to use your face for it, use your personality. What makes you unique? Take it, and turn it around, and use it to make what you represent unique, as well.

    I’m hardly what anyone would consider a “normal” farmgirl. I’m hardly a “normal” anything and my friends throughout the AgChat community know I can be an obnoxious nutjob at times. However, I feel like adding that quirk to agriculture’s story can make a bigger difference to some folks than all the facts and statistics in the world. In fact, if you can use that personality, if you can find a way to deliver the facts in a way that people identify with, you’re set.

    I mean, of course, there are times when a more serious tone is necessary. Half of my blog posts have a more serious tone. However, I like to think that the work I do (and the quirkiness I try to inject) is just one unique way to present agriculture’s story.

    I forgot where else I was going with this comment. But, hey. There you go.

    • Michele Payn-Knoper on July 27, 2010 at 9:11 pm

      Cool, so what flavor is this? Bubblegum, superman or supernutso?

      • Kelly Rivard on July 28, 2010 at 4:00 pm

        Dude, Michele…

        It’s Rocky-Road-Super-Fudge-Triple-Marshmellow Swirl…WITH CARAMEL.

  31. Bret Wade on July 28, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    We just started farming a few years ago in Simla, Colorado. Tuff work, but we start slow and grow slow and have allot of fun. My daughter works out at a feed lot in eastern Colorado, so we know how both side of farming and ranching work. We also work full time in Denver where all the food comes from the grocery store (j/k). I like to post the fun stuff on facebook and Twitter. People like to hear about the in’s and out’s because our ‘every day’ isn’t the same as everyone elses. Our flavor is Neopolitan… Feed lot – Family farm – City.

  32. Vanessa Kummer on July 29, 2010 at 2:35 am

    My favorite ice cream is “Kick the Can” ice cream, and remembering back to showing young 4-H boys how to make it. Great activity and really demonstrates where it comes from. Had a great opportunity this past week to introduce a Buffalo, NY teen to what we do on a farm. She had great questions and was so excited to see everything.

    • Kathryn Reed on July 30, 2010 at 7:36 pm

      My 4.5 year old twins made Kick the Can at their county extension play group this week and loved it…and new it tasted like Mom’s homemade ice cream.

      • Michele Payn-Knoper on July 30, 2010 at 7:52 pm

        Really? I’ve never had this concoction, but it sounds delightful for education and taste buds.

  33. Sarah on July 29, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    I love learning from the great tips that others have shared here! Just wanted to add that the Animal Ag Alliance and the American National CattleWomen have teamed up to launch year two of the College Aggies Online program- it’s an online competition that rewards students with scholarships for actively telling agriculture’s story on social media platforms. (You can learn more here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0j7lwlaAaM)

    I agree that it is so important for all types of farmers to engage in thoughtful conversations with consumers- and your blog is a great platform to do so. Keep up the great work! 🙂

  34. Twilya on July 29, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    My favorite flavor changes from one moment to the next. Right now, my favorite is vanilla with fresh fruit as a topping.

    That describes my flavor of advocay. i constantly change my strategy.

    First and foremost-I am a proud Kansas Farm Wife who shamelesly brags about her husband’s unwavering commitment to a hard days work and his belief that if he is going to do it, it will be done to his very best ability. I love telling people he is honest when knowbody is looking. it is true.

    Second- I work for ag through my county Farm Bureau. I am a one trick horse and everybody who knows me – knows it. I know the facts, I promote the farmers and I support their interests. I find every opportunity to promote the ag community of Washington County Kansas locally, regionally and nationally.

    Third-I tell our story on Facebook. I show pictures of our farm and our family and how we choose to live our life. We choose to largely eat what we raise. I share my meals with my Facebook friends. I show how eating well and eating fresh does not have to take a lot of time, just a little planning.

    Fourth- I vote my cause. That does not mean I blindly follow all directives coming from other ag sources. I vote for candidates who truly want to see agriculture and rural life in Kansas thrive.


    • Michele Payn-Knoper on July 30, 2010 at 8:21 pm

      Twilya, loved your story – I think it’s neopolitan. Thanks for sharing and I put it on FB, as well.

  35. Andy Dellava on July 30, 2010 at 1:14 am

    In my business travels, I always strike up a conversation with whomever is seated next to or near me. It’s a natural lead in to the ag world…..at some point in terms of occupations.

    Once there, I LISTEN to whatever their level of interest / angle of response is, and react in kind, not going further than their paramaters, so as not to overwhelm them with my tonnage of information. It doesn’t do any good if I figuratively bury them with too much info.

    I keep it personal and general, because most people don’t want a course in ag technology/science/ethics while on a plane or wherever. And when we part, I always give my business card and invite them to contact me any time they have a question about production agriculture or food safety. I want them to feel that they have a personal connection for trustworthy answers ABOVE & BEYOND what they see online, or in the papers or see on TV or hear on the radio.

    • Michele Payn-Knoper on July 30, 2010 at 8:12 pm

      LISTENING is so critical, Andy, thanks for bringing it up. What flavor would you call this?

  36. Sarah Bedgar Wilson on July 30, 2010 at 2:10 am

    My favorite “flavor of advocacy” is TRANSLATION! The average food/fiber/fuel consumer has NO IDEA how much a bushel is and most can’t even tell a corn planter from a combine. I find that even well-educated consumers don’t need/want us to “dumb down” agriculture, but to TRANSLATE it into something they can comprehend. For example, when we talk about our farm, we do our best to have done the math ahead of time, so we can talk about what we raise in terms of loaves of bread, gallons of ethanol, etc., instead of bushels.

    Oh, and I’ll take just about any flavor of ice cream on any day. Have even judged an ice cream making contest a time or two. Only flavor I didn’t really dig was “grapenut”, with chunks of the cereal in it…it was just wierd.

    • Michele Payn-Knoper on July 30, 2010 at 8:07 pm

      LOVE it! I frequently say that we have to speak the same language, which is right in line with the translation. What flavor would you call this?

  37. Kathy on August 1, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Wow, I love reading all the answers here. I think what I’ve learned is that agvocacy is like flavors of ice cream. One flavor isn’t enough. For certain situations, vanilla is great, but sometimes if you’re trying to impress someone, it might need to be heath bar chocolate chip. I think the thing we can all agree on is that we all love ice cream and agvocacy!

  38. […] I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream… MPK hosted a party celebrating all the flavors of advocacy during National Ice Cream Month.  Lots of fun flavors from all over the U.S. and Canada. […]

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