Animal Ag Allies is an initiative of the Animal Agriculture Alliance that empowers farmers, ranchers and practicing veterinarians to be outspoken advocates for agriculture online and within their communities. The Alliance is looking for emerging voices in the dialogue around modern animal agriculture to provide development opportunities and connect them with one another as well as industry experts. The program provides opportunities for networking, training and continuous development of issue expertise and communication skills. The Animal Ag Allies will be on the front lines of responding to emerging issues and sharing positive content about animal agriculture.
We’re looking for farmers, ranchers and practicing veterinarians who want to make a difference in public perception of animal agriculture. The ideal participant has already demonstrated their commitment to engaging on relevant issues and is ready to take their efforts to the next level and possesses the following qualities:
- Established public social media presence on at least one, ideally more, of the following platforms:
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest.
- At least 1,000 existing followers on one or more of the above platforms.
- Previous communications training experience through programs such as Masters of Beef Advocacy, Operation Mainstreet, and other state or national industry programs.
- Prior experience with public speaking and working with media.
These are suggested guidelines, not set-in-stone requirements. If potential participants don’t meet each of these exact criteria but still feel they are a good fit for the program they are encouraged to contact the Alliance.
The Animal Ag Allies program consists of two phases: online training and a private forum to discuss engagement strategies and emerging issues. The online training modules are all available online and may be completed at the participant’s own pace. Modules include:
- Overviews of each sector of animal agriculture
- Where to find more resources on each sector
- Hot topics and emerging issues facing animal ag
- How to address contentious issues
- Growing your social following and reaching outside the choir
- Public outreach
Following the completion of the training modules, participants will be invited to a private Facebook group where they will have the ability to interact with one another as well as industry professionals from the Alliance and other select organizations. Participants will be encouraged to use the group to get advice on growing their online following, engaging on certain issues, responding to comments and messages, and any other relevant topics.
“I am so thankful for this opportunity. Everything was useful! I love learning new things and being able to recap things I have learned before, so all of the information was very valuable to me!” – Markie Hageman, California beef industry advocate
“I truly had fun going through the different modules. It is beneficial as an “agvocate” to have all of the resources saved for future reference!” – Jenna Fletcher, Nebraska beef, dairy and crop farmer