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My experience at the Engage training event page banner

My experience at the Engage training event

Posted on April 17, 2014 at 11:02 AM by Iowa Corn

I’ve always wondered how other people in the agriculture industry go about answering some of the questions that are received from the general public. Personally, I have had some experience with people asking me questions such as, “Why do farmers use GMOs don’t they know how bad they are?” Most of the time, my initial reaction has been to strike out and tell them that they are misinformed but it wasn’t until I attended the Engage Training Event that I realized I hadn’t been solving anything.  In fact, by instantly thinking of it as offensive statement, I had probably missed an opportunity to actually talk to consumers and allow them to see my prospective.

Student at the Engage training event

When I first walked into the Engage training event, I instantly felt as though I was in a professional yet very welcoming setting. There was a presentation on the board and the speaker began to go through some of the discrepancies that come about in the agriculture world. She mentioned how people often say that, “GMO’s are bad,” or that they, “can only eat organic food.” She continued by talking about how we very seldom ever ask them why they think this we just become upset instead. We were then given scenarios where we had the opportunity to try this solution out on our own. Rather than lashing back, we worked to talk with the consumer and ask them why they felt a certain way or what made them think a certain thing. By the end of the speaking experience, I felt much better able to handle these types of situations. It was nice to have a professional talking us through and helping us not to get offensive but to sincerely engage in a conversation and inform our consumers


Overall, I felt that the Engage Training Event was a great success. I had the opportunity to talk about the industry that I’m most passionate about along with serving as a voice for agriculture. I recommend this event to everyone in the agriculture industry because I truly do feel that everyone can gain something from this training event. I can say with confidence that the next time someone asks me about GMO’s or antibiotics in my beef, I will be able to engage with them in an informative conversation rather than become defensive and feel like I need to stick up for agriculture. Agriculture has a story of its very own, its up for us to be the voice to relay that information to our consumers.

Kalli Weber is a freshman at Iowa State University. She is originally from a small town in northwest Iowa known as Mapleton. She is triple majoring in Agronomy, Agriculture Communications, and International Agriculture as well as minoring in Agriculture Business. She plays many roles and enjoys being a member and officer of ISU Corn Growers Club. Another role she plays is a First Responder at her local ambulance back home. When she graduates she hopes to work with world hunger issues and develop more sustainable agriculture for the ever-growing population.

Tagged As: engage, GMOs

Comments
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Sun Dry | noreply@blogger.com | 06/24/2014 at 04:34 AM
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