Oregon Aglink members from all parts of the state converged on the capital in January to attend the 2020 annual membership meeting at Salem. The meeting once again took place at the Oregon State Fairgrounds during the Northwest Agricultural Show, presented by EO Media.
Updates from the Office
Following a board meeting that morning, members enjoyed lunch sponsored by Rabo Agrifinance and Pape Agricultural Machinery while executive director Mallory Phelan reported on important events during the past year of fundraising and education. These include:
Oregon Aglink invited author Michele Payn back to speak about communicating with consumers, challenging misinformation, and her newest book, Food Bullying: How to Avoid Buying B.S.
Following her other books, Food Truths from Farm to Table and No More Food Fights, Payn has developed new material to help farmers and other food producers understand the way people make decisions about the food they buy and eat. According to Payn, it is “critical for everyone in this room and everyone out there and everyone who works in agriculture to understand the perspective on the other side of the plate.”
Payn encourages producers to think about reaching consumers as an effort of conversation rather than education. She provides many examples of the fear-based food headlines and the emotion behind food marketing that can lead some farmers to assume that consumers are stupid, misinformed, or uneducated. Instead, Payn argues, we should be “listening to where people’s priorities are” and meeting them there, whether it’s a matter of safety, freshness, or the people behind the food.