July 10, 2015

Words that build trust

In most relationships, saying the right thing or communicating effectively helps keep that relationship healthy. There is no difference in a farmer’s relationship with food consumers.

Farmers tend to have their own language with words that mean something to them in their working environment. Yet, while “production”, “yield” and “precision” might mean great things to them, food consumers are really unsure of what they mean and it can diminish the trust they have in the food production system.

The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) has been working for some time on how to connect with our consumers – and USFRA is supported partly by corn checkoff dollars so we care about the research they are doing.

USFRA encourages farmers to choose their words carefully when communicating with consumers. Here are some of the words/phrases that research suggests are often most effective:

A great example given by CommonGround Iowa volunteer and farmer, Julie Kenney is:

“As farmers, we’re committed to continuous improvement and to producing more with less. We’ve learned from previous generations and have adopted new technology over the years to farm more efficiently. We want to be good stewards of the land so it’s available for our children to farm someday, should they choose.” 

Sounds like a great, easy 30-second elevator speech to me. Challenge for this next week, do you have your 30-second elevator speech ready if a consumer asks you what you do – and does it include words that build trust?

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