As we quickly approach 2010, I’m blogging about New Year’s resolutions all week. Another suggestion for a New Year’s resolution for all you cattle folks is to get your Master’s in Beef Advocacy (“MBA”) from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (“NCBA”). I received my MBA last July in Denver at the Summer Conference and blogged about my experience here. You have to be a member of NCBA to participate in the MBA program. The next “commencement ceremony” will be on January 26, 2010 in San Antonio immediately preceding NCBA Convention and Trade Show.
Stacy and Troy Hadrick (@TroyHadrick on Twitter), South Dakota cattle ranchers and founders of Advocates for Ag, will speaking at the commencement ceremony. I first met Stacy and Troy last summer and it was a special treat to hear them talk about beef advocacy. I highly recommend following their blog or becoming a fan of their Facebook page.
As we all know, agriculture took a hard beating this year in the mainstream media. I believe that progress can be made through communication with one another. It’s not about fighting back– it’s about sharing our story to bridge the gap of understanding. From a legal standpoint, I sometimes wonder how differently Washington or Albany would vote if the legislators really understood the different sectors of the agriculture industry. . . . By getting out in the public light, agriculture producers can speak to those legislators and their constituents to help plant seeds for powerful change.
I realize that the MBA program is only for cattle folks; however, at this farm animal welfare conference last October in Albany, other types of livestock producers wished their livestock commodity group had a similar media and communications training program. I think it’s time that each of the agriculture commodity groups join this mission by training producers to be in the public light sharing their knowledge and experiences. For example, @GilmerDairy, an Alabama dairy producer, has started his own YouTube channel where he tries to educate the public about his dairy operation. As I noted in this article, it can also be a smart defensive move against livestock animal cruelty charges to put your livestock operation in a positive public light in your own community.
So what are you waiting for? Stop postponing and join over 1000 NCBA members who already received their MBA. For more information about the program, email MBA@beef.org.