MCGA scouts for the next crop of Agvocates

By Jonathan Eisenthal

Telling the non-farming public about the value of agriculture has become one of the top agenda items for all farmers to ensure that the public understands what farming is and continues to support it. One way Minnesota Corn Growers Association is helping to spread agriculture’s story is through their Agvocate program, which is just wrapping up its first year.

On Tuesday, MCGA sent information to colleges and universities across the region to recruit the next group of young people who will take part in this program. In exchange for leadership development opportunities and a scholarship towards their education, MCGA enlists the energetic efforts of four students currently in post-secondary education or training programs to help advocate on agriculture’s behalf.

Students must be between 18 and 24 years old but do not need to come from a farming background to qualify. While preference is given for students in agricultural disciplines, this is not a requirement. Rather, Agvocates are students willing to commit a year to learning in greater depth about production agriculture and then to develop his or her own particular communication package to spread that knowledge to the general public. The application deadline is April 15 with MCGA staff selecting the next group of Agvocates by May 25.

“We had a great first year with the Agvocate program and with this upcoming year, we’re adding some more leadership and social media activities to the requirements,” noted Jenna Kromann, MCGA outreach & communications specialist who oversees the Agvocate program. “These students will be attending MCGA Day on the Hill (an event that brings farmers to the state capital in Saint Paul to meet with lawmakers) and each will also create their own ag-oriented Facebook page and manage that daily or begin a Twitter account and tweet daily to bring agriculture’s story to the general public.”

Agvocates will also write at least three posts to the MCGA blog, Minnesota Cornerstone (https://minnesotacornerstone.wordpress.com/) and other MCGA publications, with the aim of coming away from their Agvocate year with a portfolio that measures the student’s accomplishments which will help the student pursue more learning and leadership opportunities in the future.

To find out more about applying to be an MCGA Agvocate, click here.

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