Take this Gate to Plate blog as an example; you may have noticed a shift in the last month with more frequent postings by guest bloggers. I finally realized I didn’t have to come up with pithy blog postings that would change the world every day. I know a lot of smart people who have a great perspective to share in the advocacy, agrifood and social media arenas. We have a mom writing every week to help provide insight for moms (and dads), a college student posting a couple times a month about her experiences as a young agvocate and agriculture or food experts providing guest posts 2-3 times monthly. The resulting connections for guest bloggers has been a testament to the value of collective brainpower. Each of them have appealed to a different crowd; so the end result is more leveraging of the agricultural, food and farming message.
As a 1.5 person shop, Cause Matters Corp. can’t keep up with all of the ideas we have to grow food literacy through agvocacy. As such, efficiency is key. Building a team with diverse expertise really helps us accomplish more in less time with greater results. We’re smart enough to ask for help. For example, Truffle Media is producing the new Agvocast series to take ag social media training virtual. Farmer Darin Grimm peruses analytics of the website, which was designed by professionals at Prime Concepts. College student Kelly Rivard has taught me video editing on a Mac. Could I have done these things myself? Sure, but it would have taken more time. And that’s time that could have been spent helping others learn to connect farm gate to consumer plate.
An informal poll on my Facebook fan page shows that people don’t feel smart enough when change comes their way, with technology or when they’re verbally attacked. With all due respect to farmers, I see a lot of folks who are independent and stubbornly trying to figure a lot out on their own. Sure, we work with vendors and experts for input on the farm – but at the end of the day we know it’s up to us to figure out. After all, farmers fix things, right? I’d suggest a different approach.
Asking for help isn’t admitting defeat; it’s actually working smarter. Maybe it’s working with your processor on producing better meat for customers or talking with another farmer about how to utilize the latest precision technology in your field. It may involve working with food retailers to understand their perspective. Or perhaps it’s getting help understand how to use your mobile device or Facebook as a business tool. It may even be standing up as an expert in agriculture when the media calls and finding someone to help the reporter if they have a question outside of your area. Accept that your brain isn’t enough to do it all alone- you’ll be smarter for it!