Do you remember "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey? Several years ago Covey started promoting the idea of different quadrants of thinking and how that relates to time management.
Quadrant Two is the place where we focus on things that are important, but not urgent. Big items that fit into Quadrant Two are relationships and planning. This might be things such as time spent with family and friends, estate and strategic planning, and our health. These are all things we each know are very important to our well-being, but it's easy to get caught up in day-to-day activities and not take time for these important, non-urgent things.
Advocating for agriculture is also a Quadrant Two activity. Key components in sharing the story of agriculture with others is through building relationships with those who have questions about modern farm practices and planning for future success of our individual farm by sharing about why modern farm practices are important.
In advocating for agriculture, it's important to not only share what you do on your farm and why, but perhaps it's even more important for each of us to listen to concerns and respond. The ultimate goal is to become a trusted source that people can come to and have their questions and concerns answered. That only happens once you've built relationships with those individuals.
People will come to you as a person first - you, as a person who happens to farm.
We don't have to look deep into the news to see the questions surrounding modern farm practices. For example, just this week General Mills announced that they would be offering non-GMO Cheerios. Here's links to the USA Today and Forbes articles about non-GMO Cheerios.
Questions and conversations about farming are occurring, and it's important for each of us to be part of that conversation to share why the modern farm practices are important to our farm and feeding the world.
At the first of the year, many of us are reevaluating how we spend our time and setting goals for the New Year. It's a good time to consider how advocating for agriculture fits into our own farm activities.