Posted Mar. 16 2016, 04:38:22 pm

Julie Steininger

Senior Vice President, Partner

OK, I wasn’t actually on the farm. But I was at Commodity Classic – a convention and trade show with educational sessions for farmers and their families, along with innovative companies that contribute to the productivity of American agriculture. If farmers are your stakeholders, this is the place to be. If you want to know the latest opportunities and issues in agriculture, this also is the place to be. And that’s why I was there. Here are my four key takeaways: 

1. Farmers want to know about the research and results of agricultural technologies and products. This information helps them make critical decisions. The open dialogue with and transparency from the companies providing products and services used on the farm helps farmers build trust in those companies. Stakeholder trust is key to building a strong reputation. Read more at How to Build a Stronger Reputation in Two Steps. 

2. Agriculture leaders are optimistic about the future. U.S. agriculture production has increased 170 percent since 1950, while inputs have remained stable, the number of farmers have decreased by 22 million and they are using 26 percent less land to raise crops. And, new trade agreements will help agriculture expand its market.

3. There are big challenges involving many stakeholders in agriculture and society overall, like labeling food containing ingredients from genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Again, this goes back to stakeholders and trust. Trust-based relationships could help avoid excessive regulations or litigation.

4. You can learn a lot by walking in someone else’s shoes – or boots. Through The Bee Understanding Project, farmers and beekeepers, crop advisers and entomologists, pest control applicators, and regulators switch jobs for a day to gain a different perspective on the link between agriculture and honey bee health and develop solutions together.

To learn more about how listening and having ongoing, open dialogue with those impacted by the decisions and actions of an organization helps build a positive reputation, download our free white paper, Authentic Stakeholder Engagement: Essential to Strengthening Reputation and Managing Risk.

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