The Art and Science of the Ag and Food Conversation

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Webinar hosted by Ag More Than Ever, April, 2014. My first webinar! Really terrific opportunity (and forum)! Lots of good feedback and discussion!

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The Art and Science of the Ag and Food Conversation

  1. 1. The Art & Science of the Ag and Food Conversation Ag More Than Ever Webinar April 16, 2014 Cami Ryan, B.Comm, Ph.D. College of Agriculture and Bioresources University of Saskatchewan
  2. 2. AESTHETIC RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD URBAN-RURAL DIVIDE HUMAN COGNITIVE HABITS PERCEPTIONS OF EXPERTISE THE ‘ -SCAPE’ SOCIAL NETWORKING & Social Media PLATFORMS CONVERSATIONComplex Conversational Space
  3. 3. A ‘First World’ relationship with food 3
  4. 4. Almost 1 billion people do not have ENOUGH food to EAT 4 Photo credit: James Natchwey
  5. 5. ‘First World’ Food Identity Crisis? Guilt-Free Consumerism Buying Patterns
  6. 6. “food holocaust” “national eating disorder” “too fat” “too much red meat” “too subsidized” “too corporate” “too monoculture” 6 “factoryfarms” ‘DOOMand GLOOM’
  7. 7. 7 The GOOD News! 40% food prep 81% clean up 25% fruits/veggies 30 yrs  lifespan
  8. 8. “…the FOOD that we so ENJOY today is a feat of human ingenuity over NATURE’s total indifference to us…” Jayson Lusk, Agricultural Economist Author, The Food Police
  9. 9. “…more than 500 activist organizations are SPENDING in excess of $2.5 billion per year engaging in food-related campaigns.” J.Byrne 2011
  10. 10. Human Cognitive Habits We are CONSPIRATORIAL thinkers 10
  11. 11. We are CONFORMISTS 11 Human Cognitive Habits
  12. 12. We seek out information that confirms our world views 12 Human Cognitive Habits
  13. 13. We are PATTERN seekers 13 Dog noses or space aliens? Human Cognitive Habits
  14. 14. We think in PICTURES 14 Scarrrry Vegetables! Human Cognitive Habits
  15. 15. 15
  16. 16. ‘Just in Time’ Users of Mobile Technology  72% of North Americans tap into internet and social media  Primary social media user demographic – 21-35 yrs  Growth demographic – 45+ yrs 16 ‘Just in Time’ misinformation!
  17. 17. Celebrity influence 17
  18. 18. The Dunning-Kruger Effect less knowledgeable more knowledgeable Unskilled and unaware of it! 18
  19. 19. 19
  20. 20. Lesson #98: Step away from the soapbox The DOCTOR FREE Unsolicited Advice is IN 20 CONVERSATIONLessons Learned
  21. 21. HOW you communicate is more important than WHAT you actually say. CONVERSATIONLessons Learned 21
  22. 22. Conventional plant breeding Genetic engineering MOSH PIT BALLET Inspired by: @toqlip 22
  23. 23. Credit: Joan Ruskamp, Nebraska 23
  24. 24. CONVERSATION The (dreaded) Conversation Lots of people with lots of perspectives!  Continuums Knowledge, understanding, expertise Political motivators Emotional scale (scared, angry, curious...)
  25. 25. CONVERSATION The Strategy 1. Determine 2. Diffuse and Deflect 3. Decide 4. Dialogue
  26. 26. Nuances of the Dialogue… Connect Find common ground It’s a conversation – not a CONVERSION Initiate and ask questions Listen more, talk less, learn Re-connect Value the relationship MORE than the conversation CONVERSATION
  27. 27. Sources?  Connect with others that are ‘in the know’ (build your own networks)  There is growing critical mass of people engaging in these dialogues!  ‘tool up’  Use stories  Use memes  Videos and other online tools  Participate in discussion forums 27
  28. 28. GOAL is not to “change hearts & minds” as much as it is to “change point of reference” - Michele Payn-Knoper - CONVERSATIONArt& Science - SCIENCE & Art
  29. 29. Go easy on yourself: Sometimes it’s OK to walk away CONVERSATIONArt& Science - SCIENCE & Art
  30. 30. The most important conversations you will ever have… 10,000,000 calories & lots of ‘chat’ ‘Hayden’ Phenotype ‘Hayden’ Genotype 30
  31. 31. CONVERSATIONArt& Science - SCIENCE & Art  Make real connections / avoid “educating”  May require more listening and less talking  If you hit the conversational wall, “back up the bus”  If you can’t respect the argument, respect the intent  Be brave, be confident – you know more than you think you do  It’s OK to say “I don’t know”  Use your networks; crowdsource  Lead with the narrative… 31
  32. 32. Improving your position doesn’t mean raising your voice… 32 CONVERSATION
  33. 33. Accuracy Accountability Authenticity …it means *finding* your voice! 33
  34. 34. “PEOPLE will forget what you said and did, but they will never forget how you made them FEEL.” Maya Angelou CONVERSATION
  35. 35. Conversations are relationship-building exercises. So, you need to start from a ‘values-based’ perspective. Share your STORY. 35
  36. 36. The collective INTERPLAY of ALL of our VOICES CATALYST for CHANGE
  37. 37. doccamiryan.wordpress.com @DocCamiRyan Cami Ryan 37 The Art & Science of the Ag and Food Conversation Cami Ryan, B.Comm, Ph.D.

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