February 2016

Talk the Talk

Valentine’s Day is a time to shower your sweetheart with affection, show your loved ones you care….and eat chocolate! As you probably know, chocolate comes from cocoa plants, but did you realize that these plants are threatened by pests and disease? Thanks to the responsible use of crop protection products, farmers can fight cocoa threats and fill those heart-shaped boxes with chocolates year after year.

In fact, in the 1990s in West Africa where the majority of cocoa is grown, cocoa production rarely exceeded 400,000 metric tons due to the prevalence of pests and disease. In 2000, the Cocoa Diseases and Pests Control Program was introduced to teach farmers how and when to use pesticides to protect cocoa crops. Due to the success of this program and the responsible use of crop protection products, cocoa yields grew by 50 percent!1

Share these facts and more with your loved ones this February 14th using CropLife America’s (CLA) poster, Chocolate Sweetens Valentine’s Day Celebrations.

 

1 Afrane, George and Ntiamoah, Augustine. Pesticides in the Modern World – Risks and Benefits. “Use of Pesticides in the Cocoa Industry and Their Impact on the Environment and the Food Chain.” 2011. http://cdn.intechopen.com/pdfs-wm/21173.pdf

TELL ME MORE ABOUT…

American Farm Bureau’s #iAdvocate Photo Contest!

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) is inviting farmers and ranchers to share their stories about advocating for agriculture as part AFBF’s recently-launched #iAdvocate campaign. To enter, message a photo of yourself advocating for agriculture to the Farm Bureau Promotion & Education Facebook page by March 25. Photo entries should include an #iAdvocate white board or sign with a brief explanation of what you’re doing. Ten contest winners will each receive a $100 Farm Bureau Bank gift card. Full contest rules are available online.

 

Women in Agriculture

According to the 2012 U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Census of Agriculture, women make up about 31 percent of U.S. farmers, but that figure by itself doesn’t tell the whole story. Women principal operators farmed 62.7 million acres in 2012, and women make up 60 percent of the growers on farms who could take charge when principal operators retire. While women are already making major contributions to the industry, an even greater role awaits them in the future. Learn about women’s contributions to ag in the infographic, Rising to the Challenge, recently published in Syngenta’s Thrive magazine, quarter 1 of 2016 edition.

SOCIAL MEDIA

#TellMeMoreTweets

The most popular recent @CropLifeAmerica tweets were:

Are you still digging out from #StormJonas? @AgWebEditor shows you how #farmers prepare for major snowstorms http://goo.gl/OxsGLi

While #IYS2015 may be over, learning about #soil health & using sound soil strategies never go out of style http://goo.gl/4yYIlZ @USDA

Stocking up on bread to prepare for #blizzard2016? In the US, 1 acre of wheat yields about 40 bushels http://goo.gl/BG9g3u @wheatworld

Let’s face it – creating content for Twitter can become routine. If you are posting four pieces of content per day each year, you’re tasked with coming up with 1,460 pieces of interesting content in one year. That’s no small feat!

So how can you make sure you’re posting about the right things for your followers and keep your pulse on the latest news? Keep an eye to the trending hashtags on the left-hand side of your Twitter page and try to relate these items to what you’re posting about. For example, when Storm Jonas hit in January, CLA had a great opportunity to engage followers on their blizzard food plans and remind them how today’s ag helps them prepare for such weather events. You can also look through online newspapers (e.g., The New York Times and TheWashington Post) as well as ag trade websites (e.g., Delta Farm Press and The Progressive Farmer) to learn about developing stories and conversation topics among people in the industry.


Tell Me More Blog

Searching for perspectives on the benefits of today’s agricultural methods? Read the Tell Me More blog for in-depth information on timely topics to share with family and friends.

SHARE-WORTHY RESOURCE OF THE MONTH

Newest Infographic: Is Risk Okay?

Most of the things we use and rely on every day carry some level of risk, such as planes, bridges and medications. These risks are managed by government regulation and are outweighed by the benefits these products and innovations provide us. Scientists apply the same principle in assessing potential risks during the evaluation of crop protection products, which protect our food supply from pests and disease. Share this information on social media using our new infographic, Is Risk Okay?


TESTIMONIAL

Showing Your Love for Modern Ag through Advocacy

This Valentine’s Day, consider showing your love for ag! Agricultural advocacy helps people without a background in farming better understand the food production process. By speaking up on social media or in conversation with friends and family, you can spread the word about the benefits of crop protection products and the industry’s commitment to help farmers be good stewards of the land. Read more about agvocacy from ourMaster’s in Modern Ag (MMA) alumni below.

“In order to combat modern ag misconceptions, people need to understand that America’s farmers and ranchers are dedicated to raising healthy, high-quality products to feed the world. I strive to be a positive advocate for the industry and utilize opportunities to educate those who are unfamiliar with agriculture. We need to continue to advocate on behalf of all aspects of agriculture and unite our community to better educate the world around us.”

- Adelai, Iowa

“I propose that we take three simple steps to combat [farming] misconceptions and draw students into agricultural careers: include agriculture as an important part of ALL coursework, including English, science, math, social studies, economics, art, language, and technology, in ALL high schools across the nation; work with college recruiters and high school guidance counselors to highlight STEM careers in all parts of agriculture; and advocate for agriculture as a progressive industry and self-promote through all available media outlets about the advancements in agriculture.

Promoting our best practices (stewardship/sustainability), scientific advancements, and greatest accomplishments through the avenues of education is our best chance of building support for our industry as we work toward the monumental task of providing nutritious and abundant food for nine billion people by 2050.”

- Seth, Indiana

“As an industry, we need to advocate better…We also need to educate children and reconnect them to their food. The more that people understand where their food comes from and what it takes to provide safe food, the less fear they will have about agriculture in general. We also need to continue to support a risk and science-based regulatory system which allows us to introduce new innovations quickly to the growers, providing continual improvement to our food supply system. Without a strong science base, the public loses confidence in the regulatory system and the agricultural community. We have a great system in North America and we continue to benefit from a reliable, safe and abundant food supply, we just have to talk more!”

- Dana, North Carolina

PROGRAM UPDATE

Complete All Three MMA Specialty Certifications!

CLA’s Master’s in Modern Ag (MMA) program is designed to help everyone learn something new about agriculture and crop protection products, whether you have years of experience within the industry, come from a farming background or know little-to-nothing about agriculture. The main MMA degree includes two short quizzes as well as an opportunity to share a written or video testimonial on your personal connection to modern agriculture. After receiving the MMA degree, learners can complete three MMA specialty certifications:

  • The Founders of Modern Ag
  • Supporting Soil Health
  • Protecting Our Pollinators

By completing the MMA degree and all three specialties, you can become a true master of modern ag! For questions about the MMA program, contact Whitney Gray, communications coordinator at CLA, by email at wgray@croplifeamerica.org or by phone at 202-872-3847.