(Posted Sat. Feb 1st, 2014)

Farm women volunteers involved in the CommonGround program, along with state and national staff, met in St. Louis to share their experiences with the program and welcome new members last week.  Over the course of three days, the participants worked intensively on the tools that they use to share their personal story and that of modern farming with urban and suburban moms through sessions on social media, public speaking and interview skills. 


Through a series of presentations from representatives of affiliated agricultural groups and media industry experts, attendees explored a wide array of subjects including the most prevalent consumer attitudes toward agriculture and the most effective ways to contact the newsroom at local television stations.


“Spending this time with other volunteers inspires and motivates me,” said CommonGround volunteer LaVelle Winsor, who farms in Kansas.  “Seeing my fellow volunteers’ enthusiasm, sincerity and dedication is energizing. Each of us genuinely wants to open conversations with consumers, with moms just like us, who have real, valid concerns about feeding their families. The summit helps us hone our skills, focus on our core values and connect with people who share our passion.”


Support for their efforts was reinforced through presentations from NCGA CEO Rick Tolman and Director of Communications Ken Colombini.


The conference offered the volunteers and staff a chance to share experiences gained through program participation over the past year, during which the involved states hosted more than 120 events in 15 states, CommonGround continued to grow its grassroots network.  Since it began more than three years ago, CommonGround has sparked more than 230 million conversations with consumers.


To watch a short video highlighting the program’s successes which aired during the conference, click here.


CommonGround is a joint program of the National Corn Growers Association, the United Soybean Board and their state affiliates. Through the work of farm women volunteers, CommonGround connects women on and off the farm for conversations about how food is grown and raised so they everyone can enjoy food without the fear.


To see photos from the conference, click here.


Want to join the CommonGround conversation? Stay tuned for updates and what you can to help.