Everyone in ag needs to speak up for their industry.
Changing perceptions about anything is difficult – people bring their own biases, misconceptions and preconceived notions to everything. And, when you’re trying to change perceptions about something as huge and far-reaching as Canadian agriculture, the task can feel especially daunting, if not impossible. But it’s not. It just takes the collective effort of everyone in agriculture to paint a realistic picture of ag as the innovative, essential and growing industry it is. To reach its full potential – and attract the investment and people it needs – Canadian agriculture needs everyone in it to be an agvocate. And it’s easier than you think.
The term ‘agvocate’ is popular in ag circles. It’s a powerful term that a lot of people feel a connection to. But what exactly is an agvocate? What does an agvocate do? And, what does an agvocate not do? It’s an important distinction.
Generally, an agvocate:
- uses facts and personal experiences to dispel myths and misperceptions about the ag industry;
- acknowledges the challenges in ag, but focuses on the positive side of the industry;
- wears their passion for ag on their sleeve and looks for ways to share it with the world; and
- speaks up, speaks positively and, most importantly, speaks first – an agvocate looks for opportunities to create conversations as opposed to always responding to others.
Overall, agvocates are inclusive and invite people into a dialogue. It’s important to not draw lines in the sand– when it comes to changing perceptions, this is highly ineffective. A dialogue is a two-way street, where viewpoints are shared and discussed – everyone should feel like they are a part of the ag conversation because, ultimately, ag is a part of all of us.
Being an agvocate is all about creating dialogue in respectful and meaningful ways. And, it doesn’t have to be hard. Just take a look at what you love about ag and why ag is important to you, and share it with the world. That’s what an agvocate does.
If you’re looking for a place to start, add your name to the agvocate list on our site and join a community of people who share your passion. You’ll also receive monthly emails with tips and resources to help you be an agvocate. Or, if you’re a business, association or farm, become a partner. You can also check out our resources section – it’s full of free tools to help you tell the real story of Canadian agriculture.