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Publication Date: 2/17/2016

February 17, 2016 – Farmers are often advised to use social media to tell their story and connect with consumers. Attendees at the Animal Agriculture Alliance’s 2016 Stakeholders Summit will hear from one Canadian dairy farmer who took that challenge to the extreme and caught the attention of the public and the media – along with animal rights activists. The Summit, themed “Securing Animal Agriculture’s Future: Action, Please!”, will be held May 5-6 at the Westin Arlington Gateway in Arlington, Va.

On January 1, 2015, Andrew Campbell decided to post one picture every day of the year from his dairy farm in southern Ontario on Twitter using the hashtag “#farm365.” Campbell’s goal was to share his daily experiences as a dairy farmer and drive conversations with consumers about agriculture and food. Campbell was shocked by the response he received, with thousands of other farmers from around the world joining in and using the hashtag to share their own stories.

Campbell’s effort quickly drew the ire of animal rights activists, and the #farm365 hashtag was flooded with gory images, misinformation and outright lies about animal agriculture. Despite the online harassment and even direct threats, Campbell refused to lose sight of his mission and continued to post positive and engaging photos every day of 2015. The #farm365 hashtag continues to be used by farmers to share their daily commitment to ensuring animal care and environmental sustainability. At the Summit, Campbell will share the lessons he learned and offer advice for others interested in using social media to connect with consumers.

“We are always encouraging our members to put a face on their industry using social media,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Alliance president and CEO. “Andrew’s bold effort is a great example of how many people you can reach with just a smartphone and a Twitter account. Unfortunately, using social media can expose farmers and ranchers to attacks by our detractors, which can be a deterrent to speaking out. The story of Andrew’s refusal to allow activist groups to bully him into giving up on the Farm 365 project will be both informative and inspirational to our Summit audience.”

Campbell and his family milk Holsteins and grow corn, soybeans, wheat and hay in southern Ontario. Campbell, a farmer with a passion for agriculture engagement, social media and new technology, also owns Fresh Air Media, a communications company. With Fresh Air Media, he speaks and works with companies and organizations interested in harnessing the power of today’s communication tools to inform consumers about agriculture, food and farm practices. You can find Campbell online at RealAgriculture.com and DinnerStartsHere.ca and on Twitter and Instagram as @FreshAirFarmer.

The Stakeholders Summit is a one-of-a-kind conference attended by a diverse group of decision makers, including representatives from farms, ranches, food processors, restaurants, grocery stores, legislatures, universities and government agencies. This year’s Summit will focus on securing a bright future for animal agriculture by finding solutions to the challenges facing the industry today. Attendees will hear from thought-provoking speakers, participate in engaging discussions and leave with actionable ideas that they can immediately implement on their operations or in their businesses.

Be sure to check the Alliance website for the most up-to-date Summit information. You can also follow the hashtag #AAA16 for periodic updates about the event. For general questions about the Summit please contact summit@animalagalliance.org or call (703) 562-5160.

Details:

Early registration for the one-and-a-half day event is $375 for Alliance members, $425 for non-members and $325 for those in government or academia. Members of the media receive complimentary registration and should contact Hannah Thompson at hthompson@animalagalliance.org for instructions on how to register. Registration materials and full event schedule (as of February 4, 2016) can be found at www.animalagalliance.org/summit.

This year’s Summit will be held at the Westin Arlington Gateway in Arlington, Va. Rooms are available at a special group rate by visiting the hotel’s website or calling 1-888-627-7076.

Refer a Friend:

Help us spread the word about Summit! If you refer a friend to attend the 2016 Stakeholders Summit who has never attended a pervious Stakeholders Summit and they list your name as their recommender when they register for the event, you’ll both be entered in a drawing to win a $100 gift card! Each referral will count as one entry and there is no limit on the number of entries for referrers. We will give away two $100 gift cards at the 2016 Stakeholders Summit – one drawing for referrers and one drawing for those who were referred. All registrations with a referral listed made until online registration closes on May 4 will be entered. Must be present at the 2016 Stakeholders Summit to claim your gift card.

Get involved:

Show your support for the Alliance’s outreach efforts by becoming an official Summit sponsor today! For a complete listing of Summit sponsors or to watch video recordings from the 2015 Summit please visit www.animalagalliance.org/summit. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Allyson Jones-Brimmer at ajonesbrimmer@animalagalliance.org.

Current 2016 sponsors include: U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, Meatingplace, Farm Journal Media, Watt Global Media, Farm Credit, American Feed Industry Association, National Pork Board, National Cattleman’s Beef Association, Alltech, Zoetis, Diamond V, Charleston|Orwig, National Pork Producers Council, Merck Animal Health, Smithfield, Provimi, Bayer Animal Health, PotashCorp, Seaboard Foods, Iowa Soybean Association, Aviagen, Cattle Empire, United Soybean Board, Council for Biotechnology Information/GMO Answers, The National Turkey Federation’s 20 by 2020 Project, United Egg Producers, Kemin Industries, Cobb-Vantress and the Food Industry Environmental Network.

About the Alliance:

The Animal Agriculture Alliance is an industry-united, nonprofit organization that helps bridge the communication gap between farm and fork. We connect key food industry stakeholders to arm them with responses to emerging issues. We engage food chain influencers and promote consumer choice by helping them better understand modern animal agriculture. We protect by exposing those who threaten our nation’s food security with damaging misinformation.
Find the Alliance on Facebook and Twitter.

Category: Press Releases

Tag: Stakeholders Summit,