With the world’s population expected to reach nine billion people in the next 40 years, agriculture in Wyoming and worldwide will play a vital role in feeding and conserving the growing planet.
“Studies indicate that American consumers think about food production constantly, but know very little about how food is brought to the dinner table,” explained State FFA Advisor Stacy Broda. “The Wyoming State FFA Officers created the Wyoming Agriculture Advocacy Week to help bridge the gap between agriculture producers and consumers on issues such as safe food production, environmental stewardship and animal care.”
Held Jan. 24-30, 2016, Wyoming “AGvocacy” Week focused on encouraging FFA members and others in the agriculture industry to advocate for agriculture, or AGvocate, and to engage their local communities in discussions about where their food comes from and how agriculture contributes to Wyoming’s economy and culture.
“Our FFA members will be among those tasked with feeding an ever-growing population with a diminishing natural resource base,” said Broda. “AGvocacy Week was created to help members begin to think about their role as food producers in addressing hunger while managing issues such as technology, health and resource conservation.”
As part of AGvocacy week, the Wyoming FFA hosted an essay and video competition for FFA members. The association also developed a successful social media campaign, using the organization’s online presence to recognize student members actively engaged in agriculture and natural resource based projects. The Wyoming FFA encouraged supports to use the hasghtag #AgistheAnswer to share the agriculture story. The state FFA officers met with Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead to sign a proclamation for the Wyoming AGvocacy Week.
“We are grateful for all the help and support in making our social media campaign such a big success,” said Broda. “We members, industry representatives, parents and government officials all talking about AGvocacy Week, paving the way for honest discussions about the role agriculture plays in all our lives.”
Some highlights from the second year campaign include:
More than 100,000 people saw and shared #AgistheAnswer posts via social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
More than a dozen industry partners, including the Wyoming Department of Agriculture and the Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts posted and shared #AgistheAnswer posts.
The social media campaign was being talked about by individuals and related organizations in states like California, Ohio and Hawaii, as well as foreign countries like Puerto Rico and Germany.
Thirty FFA members involved in production agriculture, agriscience or entrepreneurship were recognized for their unique and skilled supervised agriculture experience programs.
By using and sharing #AgistheAnswer branded material, Wyoming citizens raised $1,000 for the Wyoming FFA Scholarship Fund.
The Wyoming FFA plans to continue promoting agricultural literacy and using the #AgistheAnswer tag to brand stories, posts and images that create agriculture awareness.