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Recap of ENGAGE for Ag Leaders

Sep 02 2022

A small but mighty group of ARA member representatives participated in the recent ARA ENGAGE for Ag Leaders training in St. Louis, Missouri.

The program kicked off with a word from our sponsor Corteva Agriscience during the dinner and reception followed by a timely and relevant overview of consumer trends and insights from FMI's David Fikes.

Nightmare Questions

Day two started with facilitator Roxi Beck with the Center for Food Integrity asking participants about the "nightmare" questions they may be asked about from consumers as well as our own family and friends who may have limited knowledge about the agricultural production practices and the services agricultural retailers provide.

Nightmare questions centered around topics such as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), chemicals applied on food, water health, animal welfare, environmental impact, and more.

Throughout the rest of the program, the group worked together in small group discussions and live pressure testing to learn a three-step proven process to engage in a meaningful discussion based on shared values rather than just facts and information alone. 

Online Conversations

The final day kept the audience engaged with a discussion led by Jamie Rzewnicki, with the Center for Food Integrity, about how to manage these tough conversations online when they pop up on your social media channels, whether they occur on a personal or corporate account.

This lively section of the program also went over how social channels such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram carry different kinds of messages and how to identify the platforms that will best reach your unique customer base.

Who Attends?

Anyone working in ag retail or the broader agriculture industry will benefit from this training. Location managers, sales professionals, EHS&S managers, marketing specialists, crop protection managers, and event professionals attended the 2022 ENGAGE for Ag Leaders program. 

“I learned so much and went back and talked my director’s ear off about how we must incorporate more value-based messaging in our social and print content. Kate and I brainstormed on the drive home about social ideas. This was such a great event.”

– Mikaya Wallis, Corporate Marketing Specialist, MFA Inc.

Corteva Agriscience's sponsor presentation at ARA ENGAGE for Ag Leaders
Corteva Agriscience's Nate Wyss delivers the opening presentation during dinner to kick off the program.
ENGAGE for Ag Leaders Group Exercises
Participants of the 2022 program worked together in small groups to practice their 3-step process to conversate effectively with consumers.
Jamie at ENGAGE
Jamie Rzewnicki, with the Center for Food Integrity, led a session on managing your online conversations and social media.