The theme of the 2019 Animal Ag Alliance’s Stakeholders Summit, ‘A Seat at the Table,’ recognized critical conversations about how food is grown and produced, prepared and enjoyed occurs around the table, and farmers have the opportunity – now more than ever – to join these conversations. More than 325 stakeholders in restaurant, retail and food service companies, farms and ranches, government agencies, agribusinesses, and agriculture and food associations gathered for the two-day Summit to better connect, engage and protect animal agriculture.
“What is the future of food?” asked Cara Harbstreet, RD after reflecting on her experience and takeaways from the Summit. Harbstreet is a dietitian by career, and commands a large network online (more than 30,000 people across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) with her “non-diet” dietitian and intuitive eating approach to enjoying food without restriction or fear. Midwest Dairy sponsored Harbstreet to attend the Summit, and share her thoughts and opinions afterward. Harbstreet’s ability to genuinely connect and engage followers with similar interests positions dairy farmers positively, and allows Midwest Dairy to better connect with conflicted health seekers, the target group for building trust and sales for dairy. From acknowledging our safe and affordable food supply to providing a testimonial for farm tours, Harbstreet’s insights also touched on sustainability, food labeling and production. Read her recap blog post here.
Adriane Heins of Heins Family Farms in Higginsville, Mo. and chef Lauren Lane, past guests on the Dairy on the Air podcast, joined the “Conversations Around the Table: Engaging Influencers” panel discussion. Heins and Lane shared personal experiences, tips and lessons learned from influencer farm tours, and other tactics to help attendees plan their own influencer engagement. Dairy Farmers of America leveraged the conversation from the room and engaged their farmer members on Twitter.
Exciting networking and partnership opportunities from the Summit continue to develop with National Dairy Month on the horizon. Harbstreet and Lane will visit Heins Family Farms as part of a Bringing Dairy to Life: Farm to Table Experience in June.