The conversation surrounding water quality in Minnesota has really taken off in recent years and has brought people to the table everywhere from the farm fields to the light rail station.
On July 26, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers (USFRA) partnered with the Farm and Food Alliance of Minnesota (FFAM) and hosted Food Dialogues: A Celebration of Minnesota’s Waters. With a target audience of young professionals, interns and future influencers in the Minneapolis – St. Paul metro area, the Food Dialogues event brought a brewer, sustainability officer, farmer, and other attendees to the table to discuss everyone’s role in protecting our most valuable natural resource.
“The individuals and influencers that are talking about water, agriculture and food use many different platforms to have a conversation,” said Tom Slunecka, chairperson of FFAM and Minnesota Soybean CEO. “The Food Dialogues event created a great conversation here in Minnesota, but we were also able to reach a greater audience using other channels.”
For example, The Food Dialogues: A Celebration of Minnesota’s Water was a live event hosted on the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus with more than 100 people in the audience. A live-stream of the event was also viewed on the USFRA Facebook page, reaching another 55 active viewers.
At the conclusion of the event, the video remained on the USFRA page and was viewed an additional, 3,341 times.
The same recording was then re-posted in the weeks following the event and made available on YouTube. As of Aug. 10, some 257,656 people were reached in a conversation about water quality in Minnesota.
“In the future, we must think differently and create new avenues to reach these influencers,” Slunecka said. “Reaching consumers and influencers isn’t as simple as using print ads, radio or billboards anymore. We have to look for new ways to engage and bring everyone to the same table.”
A recording of the Food Dialogues event can be found here.
FFAM is made up of a conglomerate of commodity organization and allied partners with the common goal of ensuring Minnesota’s agricultural future. Groups involved include: Minnesota Beef Council, Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council, Minnesota Pork Board, Midwest Dairy Association, Minnesota Corn Growers Association, Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, Minnesota Wheat Research & Promotion Council, Minnesota Farm Bureau, Minnesota Farmers Union, and Minnesota Agri-Growth.
USFRA consists of more than 90 farmer and rancher led organizations and agricultural partners representing virtually all aspects of agriculture, working to engage in dialogue with consumers who have questions about how today’s food is grown and raised.