Mar 07, 2012  |  Today's News

Spring has sprung. The best evidence is that this weekend we’ll all have to turn our clocks forward one hour as we “Spring ahead.” Pretty soon, your tractors, planters, sprayers, and all other types of equipment will be on the road and rolling through the fields. With all the action will come some questions. Are you prepared to answer them in a relevant manner?

Through research in several different project areas, IL Corn knows that the average person trusts farmers but just isn’t sure if what you’re doing really qualifies as farming any more. For the most part, that distrust can be relieved with a conversation regarding your actions. But talking farmer-speak and technical lingo isn’t gonna cut it. As you’re working this Spring, think about a different language to describe your work. You’ll have to translate your message into something that makes sense to the person on the other end of the dialogue.

That’s a core message in the work of Illinois Farm Families (IFF). Remember, the Illinois corn checkoff is invested in IFF, along with Illinois Pork Producers Association, Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Farm Bureau, and Illinois Beef Association. One of the core lessons of the IFF work is called “message translation.” In easy terms, it means, in part, to use words that mean something to everyone, not just farmers, in your conversation. You can put this lesson to work every day.

Here are just a few ways that you can boil down the work of IFF to your farm, your family, your community, and your issues. We’re not talking about changing the story, just communicating in a way that means more to more people.

  • You’re a FARMER, not a grower, producer, or operator.
  • You FARM, not operate or produce.
  • You work on a FARM, not an operation.
  • You care about your family, your farm, the food you grow, and the environment.
  • You don’t use chemicals, you use nutrients and crop protectors.