Talk the Talk
It’s that time of year again to relish moments spent in the kitchen and express gratitude for family, friends and food on the table. As you plan your meal for this food-centric holiday, it’s important to think about how today’s growers help provide the ingredients for Thanksgiving dinner. Farmers use crop protection products to safeguard crops that comprise a typical Thanksgiving meal, such as cranberries, potatoes, apples and green beans. This Thanksgiving, take the opportunity to talk about the benefits of today’s agricultural methods and give thanks for all the work farmers and ranchers do to grow the fresh produce that makes Thanksgiving dinner delicious.
Download CropLife America’s (CLA) poster, Dress Your Thanksgiving Table in Modern Agriculture, to learn why farmers use pesticides to protect crops routinely found on holiday tables across the country. Then, for tips on how you can talk about the benefits of pesticide technology with your family and friends this holiday, download CLA’s Thanksgiving Communications Toolkit (print) (animated).
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The Cost of Favorite Fall Foods!
An informal survey from the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) found that the total cost of 16 food items used to prepare one or more meals is $54.14, down $.12 compared to last year. Of the 16 items surveyed, 10 decreased in average price, including:
Apples – Down 7 percent to $1.45 per pound
Bagged Salad – Down 4 percent to $2.46 per pound
Russet Potatoes – Down 3 percent to $2.64 for a five-pound bag
White Bread – Down 1 percent to $1.69 for a 20-ounce loaf
Remember to #thankafarmer for using crop protection technology to keep prices low this holiday! Download AFBF’s 2015 Fall Harvest Marketbasket Survey infographic.
Mini-Green Thumb Challenge at the National FFA Convention
At this year’s National FFA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, CLA staff and member organizations met students from across the country who were devoted to modern farming. On the Expo floor, CLA members held a coordinated mini-Green Thumb Challenge, encouraging students to post photos of their green thumbs on Twitter with the hashtag #GreenThumbFFA. The enthusiasm for modern ag was palpable at the convention, and participants in our mini-GTC helped bring this energy online!
Congratulations to all FFA members who attended the convention. Your dedication to advancing and working in today’s agriculture is driving the future of our country!
On October 29, 2015, @tanphall3 posted these photos at the National FFA Convention.
The most popular recent @CropLifeAmerica tweets:
- Treating weeds: @FarmJournal’s guide helps you scout weeds & develop a treatment plan http://goo.gl/slwdRz
- Scientists develop a model for beekeepers to assess the seriousness of #viral infections in their honey #bees http://goo.gl/J1E0Gi
- Wasted food = wasted time & money http://goo.gl/VnXikq We know #foodwaste is wrong, but how can we, as consumers, stop? @ensiamedia
Growing your Twitter account and finding interesting content to tweet in an original, informative and concise way can be a bit of a chore (#SocialMediaProblems). While finding new and relevant things to tweet about every day can be a daunting task, you can get past writer’s block and grow your account in a few basic ways:
- Talk the talk: What do your followers want to talk about? What do they value? Take a scroll through your Twitter feed to get a sense of what your followers are tweeting about and then hunt down recent articles about that topic and jump in the conversation! Take a step back to evaluate what your followers find interesting to redirect your tweet focus, save you some time and, hopefully, lead to more and better engagement.
- Gauge reactions: Do your followers have the tendency to retweet photos and infographics more than just text? Are they more active in the morning, afternoon or evening? Consider using Twitter’s Analytics dashboard which shows you your top tweets, mentions and followers by month, plus offers tips for growing your engagement. Gaining a solid understanding of how your audience behaves can help you plan when, where and what to tweet to reach them when they are most responsive.
Tell Me More Blog
Searching for perspectives on the benefits of modern agriculture? Read the Tell Me More blog for in-depth information on timely topics to share with family and friends.
- New MMA Specialty Certification – Protecting Our Pollinators!
- Mini-Green Thumb Challenge at the National FFA Convention
- Fun Facts for Apple-Picking and Trick-or-Treating
- The Words We Choose
- The Winner of the Green Thumb Challenge!
SHARE-WORTHY RESOURCE OF THE MONTH
New Tell Me More Brochure
When talking with co-workers in the kitchen at work or chatting with other parents at the playground, topics surrounding food often come up. Do you buy local or in bulk? What nutrients do you look for? Is organic better for you? These and other questions can spur in-depth conversations that give you the chance to talk about how modern agriculture brings healthy food to your plate and how crop protection products are essential to that process.
To help modern agricultural advocates, or agvocates, feel more confident in speaking up about the benefits of the crop protection industry, CLA developed the Tell Me More program. Download our new Tell Me More brochure to learn more about Tell Me More resources and how CLA can help you feel more confident talking about today’s ag.
Importance of Educating Our Future Leaders
Organizations like National FFA, Agriculture Future of America (AFA) and 4-H are vital to developing the future leaders of agriculture who can combat challenges in food production. Read the testimonials below about the importance of ag education to enhancing our food system.
“I texted my farmer boyfriend one day and asked what he was up to on the farm. Since it was summer, I expected him to respond saying he was out spraying his fields for weeds. But instead he replied saying they were out hand-picking the weeds. They were carefully hand-picking and bagging waterhemp, a noxious weed that currently no chemistry can control during later crop stages. Another farmer had unknowingly brought the resistant waterhemp seeds from the county over on [his] planter tires when [he] planted the field neighboring his.
“Next season, [my boyfriend] will use innovative weed management practices to control the weed early on. But as farmers wait for an innovative solution to control this weed during late crop stages, they will continue to hand-pick waterhemp in order to preserve the yields necessary to meet the global food demand. If that’s not stewardship, I don’t know what is.”
- Jennifer, South Dakota
“I believe the biggest public misconception about agriculture is the importance and complexity of the industry and its effect on the growing human population. What many people neglect to understand is how important, regulated and volatile the agriculture industry truly is in today’s and the future’s environment. With an industry employed by roughly 2% of the U.S. population that affects nearly every human on the planet, it’s terrifying that most people do not realize the impacts of their daily decisions and utilize their personal efforts and time to secure the future of feeding the world.
“Since the primary issues are unawareness and old habits, it deems simple to fix: Continue heightened, interactive awareness and sustainable practices are the answer. Where do we start? Driving educational awareness and experiences with our youth, like the 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) organizations, that will ultimately drive passion within our future generations to ensure we continue to protect the most important industry through sustainability: agriculture. It’s how it all began, and it’s how we’ll continue to grow (with a rapidly growing population). It’s not about fixing the problem, it’s [about] planting the solution.”
- Marilyn Adams, Colorado
“Although consumers are more involved with their diets than ever before, they are not necessarily better educated. This misconception is not all the consumer’s fault. There is a lot of noise out there in front of today’s consumer and not enough tools to decipher fact from fiction or good science from bad science. The solutions for these misconceptions are far from easy. Food and diet is a complicated subject. The entire agricultural industry, from farmers, to input suppliers, to grain companies to food processors need to be active participants in the discussion. From education in school, to social media, to day-to-day conversations, we need to do a better job of getting the facts in front of the consumers so that they can make informed decisions about what they eat.”
- Dustin, Canada
New MMA Specialty Certification – Protecting Our Pollinators!
Pollinating species – such as bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles – support plant life and our ecosystems. Agriculture in particular relies on a healthy pollinator population to keep crops growing. In fact, farmers depend on both native pollinators and contract pollination services to promote the growth of over 90 commercially grown crops in North America. Every year, pollinators add more than $24 billion to our nation’s economy.1
The best way to keep our pollinators buzzing is to work together! Beekeepers, growers, the crop protection industry and other stakeholders can all contribute to the effort to support pollinator health. Get your specialty certification in Protecting Our Pollinators to learn more about how you can contribute to this national effort.
CLA’s Master’s in Modern Ag (MMA) educational program includes our main MMA degree as well as three specialty certifications:
- The Founders of Modern Ag
- Supporting Soil Health
- Protecting Our Pollinators
Make sure you’ve completed all three specialties in order to be a true master of modern ag! For questions about the MMA program, contact Whitney Gray, communications coordinator at CropLife America, by email at email@example.com or by phone at 202-872-3847.
1 Fact Sheet: The Economic Challenge Posed by Declining Pollinator Populations, The White House, 2014.