The Animal Agriculture Alliance has launched the Animal Ag Allies program to empower farmers, ranchers and practicing veterinarians to be outspoken advocates for agriculture online and within their communities. The Alliance is currently seeking participants to enroll by Aug. 7.
The Animal Ag Allies program provides opportunities for networking, training and continuous development of issue expertise and communication skills. Allies will be on the front lines of responding to emerging issues and sharing positive content about animal agriculture.
"The Animal Ag Allies program was created to connect agriculture advocates and arm them with the issue expertise and communications skills they need to engage with influencers and consumers online and in their communities," says Hannah Thompson-Weeman, Alliance vice president of communications. "Our goal for this program is to make sure the voices of farmers, ranchers and veterinarians are being heard when it comes to important issues related to animal agriculture."
The program consists of two phases: online training and a private forum to discuss engagement strategies and emerging issues. The training modules are available online and may be completed at the participant's own pace. Modules include overviews of each sector of animal agriculture, hot topics and emerging issues facing animal agriculture, how to address contentious issues, growing your social following and reaching outside the choir, and public outreach. Following the completion of the training modules, participants will be invited to a private online group where they will have the ability to interact with one another as well as industry professionals.
"I am so thankful for this opportunity," says Markie Hageman, a California beef advocate who completed the training modules during the program development process. "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."
Farmers, ranchers, practicing veterinarians and industry professionals who want to make a difference in public understanding and perception of animal agriculture are encouraged to indicate their interest in enrolling in the program. The ideal participant has already demonstrated their commitment to engaging on relevant issues and is ready to take their efforts to the next level.
The deadline to indicate your interest in enrolling in the next round of the program is Aug. 7.
The Animal Ag Allies program would not be possible without the support of founding sponsor, Zoetis, and program sponsors Animal Health Institute, Seaboard Foods, National Turkey Federation, Merck Animal Health, Institute for Feed Education and Research and Professional Dairy Producers Foundation.
"Zoetis is proud to be the founding sponsor of the Animal Ag Allies program, helping to equip people who care for animals with communications resources," says Christina Lood, Zoetis senior director of external communications. "We look forward to seeing the growth and development of each Ally as they continue to share their personal stories and engage with their communities in conversations about livestock's role in our sustainable food supply."