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Agrimarketing : May 2009
24 TOB CropLife Ambassador:32 Feature Story 5/13/09 11:16 AM Page 25 been committed to education outreach for nearly 15 years.Ourmembers recognize the importance of reaching out to consumers to tell the story of agriculture and howit impacts people on an individual basis.” The success of CANover the years can be attributed toMACA’s willingness to provide a designated programcoordinator to concentrate on this programalone.Notably, since 2003, ambassadors in our network able to visit ten ormore. Both are considered valuable assets to our network. The time commitment required of ambassadors is kept to aminimumbecause of the services provided by CAN. Taking the footwork out of public education by doing the backgroundwork for ambassadors is my job. The time ambassadors are willing to share should be in direct contactwith the students and not studentwould pursue a future in an industrywith such an image? Ambassadors present a real image of agriculture.One of highly skilled people in science and business, both male and female,who use today’s technology tomeet the basic needs of our society. Interactingwith successful and knowledgeable ambassadors shows children agriculture is a real possibility for their future. Not only does CANinvite individ- have spoken directlywith over 30,000 children throughout the Midwest. These children had the opportunity to learn fromindustry professionals and ask questions to clarifymisperceptions. CANis committed to taking the personal ambassador approach for education as it is the bestway to ensure ourmessage is being heard and not sitting on a teacher’s desk waiting to be used. It allows us to document the actual number of studentswe reach and obtain feedback fromthe teacher as to the value of our program. Teachers are very receptive to our information.Once the science and social science behind today’s agriculture is explained teachers are sold on our programand invite us back every year. Teachers sharewith us the value of our programto their students: MANY HANDS Industry representatives fromthe farmto the boardroomarewelcome to join our network of ambassadors. Ambassadors include farmers, agronomists, productmanagers, extension educators, journalists, agri-association professionals, applicators, communication professionals andmanymore.Many hands enable us to extend our reach tomore rural and urban communities.Ambassadors determine the amount of time they can contribute. Some ambassadorsmay be able to visit two schools per yearwhile others are recruiting opportunities or pulling together visuals. As programcoordinator, I locate local schools for ambassadors to visit, serve as the contact person for the teachers, keep existing presentations up-to-date and develop new presentations as needed. I keep ambassadors informedwhen speaking opportunities become available. Information can easily be accessed fromourWeb site at anytime.Ambassadors are able to download all of our presentations, view what school requests are open and sign up to visit a school right online. HANDING OVER THE REINS Agriculture’s future not only depends onwhat purchase decisions today’s childrenmake over the next 40 years but also onwhat career choice theymake.Ask an urban student to describe a person inwho works in agriculture.Atypical response is aman in overalls and a strawhat.What is the likelihood a uals to join its network, but they are available to partnerwithMidwest agricultural groupswhomay use their programfor their educational outreach.Our programis a free resource to industry organizations in theMidwest.Groups and theirmembers just need to register andwork through the established framework. ForNationalAg day this year, CANpartneredwith the MoKan chapter of theNational Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) to place chaptermembers in Kansas City,MO, schools. Itwas a win-win scenario for both. The chapterwas able tomeet their education goals formembers in an efficient manner and CANwas able to increase outreach in the Kansas City area. CANbelieves time spent as an ambassador is an investment in the future of yourself, your company and the industry. The reins are in your hands to drive the industry by ensuring the future decisionmakers, today’s ten-year-old children, understand our value. Start your investment today. It’s easy to do oneway or another. Join CAN’s network. Contact Janet Braun at 800/625-2767 or email@example.com. Viewour presentations and orientation information at ambassador.maca.org. AM Teachers sharewith us the value of our programto their students: “Your ambassador,Mr. Dietz,was fantastic.Hewas very prepared, had excellent visuals and gavewonderful information. I learnedmany new things fromhimthat Iwill continue to use and share inmy classroom.” —Kim Ramlow, Parchment North Elementary School, Parchment,MI “This is the third time that I have had one of your speakers.My students and I enjoyed his presentation and visitingwith him. The entire experiencewas wonderful. Thank you somuch.” —Cathy Carmack, Central Elementary School,Martinsville, IN May 2009 s Agri Marketing 25
May 2009 Supplement