Just over a week ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C with Natalie in order to advocate for agriculture on National Ag Day. On Monday we arrived at the National 4-H Center in order to go through a seven-hour advocacy training program. Throughout this program, there were multiple guest speakers who informed us about the company they represented, what they do for agriculture, and their tips for advocating. Since writing a book about all these tips isn’t possible right not, here are a few key points we learned.
1. Plant a seed and shine a light:
- Plant a seed of curiosity in your audience, whether legislature or not, then shine the light on the topic that they now are curious about. By planting a seed and shining a light, you create an environment for that seed to grow.
- A story is just like a fingerprint, each of us have them and no two are the same. By telling your story, you relate to your audience, who then becomes curious about what you have to say.
- What’s the point of advocating for something if you’re not passion about it? By showing your passion, your audience knows your topic is something you love and something they should pay attention to.
- Your message will never be relayed if you stand by and let others in the meeting do the talking. Take control, but do so in an effective manner.
- This one seems like a given, but if you are advocating about a topic to someone who may not understand or have a different view, it can be easy to come across as a “Know-it-all,” or even let your temper get the best of you. By focusing on this tip, those faults are avoided.
While these are only 5 tips, they could mean everything to your audience while advocating. One final tip we were given at this training is something that we should always keep in mind:
- Never stop advocating!
- We may have been in D.C in order to advocate for a day, but why should it stop there?
Let’s make everyday National Agriculture Day and starting advocating for the industry we have such a passion for!
With a passionate heart,