The past year has been one excitement and contagious growth. In more ways than one, it has been pivotal for the AgChat Foundation organization.
We have taken bold forward steps, partnering with Emmy-award winning director, Conrad Weaver, as the in-kind fiscal sponsor of Thirsty Land Film. I was honored to attend the premier of the documentary, gaining insight from those severely affected by drought conditions. Regardless of your location, this piece is a powerful agvocating tool. With central Illinois being abnormally dry recently, the film was a reminder than drought can occur anywhere, anytime. Its best to build relationships with our communities today, so we are better prepared in adverse conditions.
This leads to the question, how do we prepare? Our organization has thrived on connections and networking, providing four conference opportunities in 2016. The events extend beyond traditional 'training' and are the ultimate meeting places for collaboration among agriculture agvocates world-wide.
As I look ahead, I'm incredibly optimistic about the future of the AgChat Foundation. Another bold step has been acquiring the Ask the Farmers, an initiative where over 60 farmers and ranchers from all walks of agriculture share their stories. We are pairing the project with a new daytime #FoodChat conversation, providing consumers with additional resources. With the help of our summer interns Kyndal Reitzenstein, Mallorie Wipple and dedicated volunteers, we are able to offer upcoming improvements in content offerings on the website. We have included a few of the widely popular series 'Why Do I AgVocate?' blog posts below. Stop by the website and meet other agvocates. Speaking of the website, we have a goal of rolling our new site out in the fall. Stay tuned!
The brainstorming sessions around the 2016 Cultivate & Connect have been mind blowing and we can't wait for you to join us in Kansas City this December. We are excited to have registration open at a discounted, early bird rate. Learn more here and register early to take advantage of the savings. As the anticipation grows for the global event, we have begun working steadily on the fourth, western conference, scheduled for the summer of 2017 in sunny California, where drought conditions continue. Watch for more information soon!
We are certainly anxious for pivotal changes in our weather patterns as record rainfall is anticipated for this weekend. If you have a moment, tweet me at @amagicmama and share the weather conditions in your area of the globe and share your success stories of connecting with those who are removed from a farm or ranch.
Until we meet again,
Jenny Schweigert, AgChat Foundation executive director