This past week has been really exciting as I have been accepted into the Animal Ag Alliance’s “Ag Allies” program. While I don’t necessarily need more things on my plate, this was something that immediately caught my attention when my friend Markie Hageman, aka THE “Ag Writer Markie,” shared an application for the program on her social media page Girls Eat Beef Too.
After applying, I anxiously awaited to see if I had any chance at being selected. I wasn’t super familiar with the program, but I knew that my chances were probably slim to be selected since it seemed that mainly businesses and agricultural associations would be sponsoring to send one of their own to the program.
Why join the Ag Allies program?
- Animal Ag Allies – from their website:
Animal Ag Allies is an initiative of the Animal Agriculture Alliance that empowers farmers, ranchers and practicing veterinarians to be outspoken advocates for agriculture online and within their communities. The Alliance is looking for emerging voices in the dialogue around modern animal agriculture to provide development opportunities and connect them with one another as well as industry experts. The program provides opportunities for networking, training and continuous development of issue expertise and communication skills. The Animal Ag Allies will be on the front lines of responding to emerging issues and sharing positive content about animal agriculture.
- While I have reported on agriculture and ranching for a long time, I am very interested in learning more about advocacy so that I can put my own thoughts and opinions out. Despite the occasional testimony, I don’t often find the time or opportunity or, really, the confidence, to share my own opinion on hot topic issues. I am excited to delve into this through this program.
- There’s a community network that you can be a part of after completing the course to connect with other likeminded agricultural advocates.
Following the completion of the training modules, participants will be invited to a private Facebook group where they will have the ability to interact with one another as well as industry professionals from the Alliance and other select organizations. Participants will be encouraged to use the group to get advice on growing their online following, engaging on certain issues, responding to comments and messages, and any other relevant topics.
I was very excited to be contacted last week that I had made the cut and that I had been sponsored by “America’s Bird” – aka the National Turkey Federation. As someone that has dived headfirst this pandemic summer into raising my own meat birds, mixing my own locally sourced sustainable grains, processing them and marketing them, I thought it was a hint from above that we FOR SURE need to raise some turkeys for next year!
Here’s some things you should know about turkey’s, since Thanksgiving is this week and all!
- Consumers are increasingly adding turkey to their diets for the health benefits, versatility, and great taste.
- Today’s turkey industry produces more than 5.3 billion pounds of turkey annually.
- The National Turkey Federation website is chock-full of recipes for turkey so if you need help for Thursday’s holiday for family or friends here is a classic oven roasted turkey recipe!
- If you’re like me, however, then you’re good to go for the big day but don’t know what to do with leftovers afterwards – especially this year since we have a full sized turkey and are only (legally) allowed to have six people at our house (can you tell I live in Oregon?). Here’s some leftover turkey recipes that you can go wild with for your Cyber Black Friday weekend.
- Did you know that the White House turkey’s is a big event? Like really big?
While this has been a very rough year, I look forward to the holidays this 2020 for some cheer and am excited that I won’t be TOO much of a nerd for diving into my Zoetis courses for the Animal Ag Allies program this week!