Why Producers Need to Tell Their Story

(Bob) Time can be tricky in the cattle business. Always in need of more time, never enough time. Figuring out what deserves the most attention and when can be a losing battle. But take a few beats to think about the impressions you create every day and how it affects your reputation. (Schmidt) The first thing that people need to think about are three questions. And they are: what are the people that are most important to you saying about you? What do you want them to say? And then finally, what are you doing to get them to say it? (Bob) Schmidt, who once led the Harley-Davidson communications team, says no matter the business you’re in, it’s important to be in control of your message. (Schmidt) So who’s going to seize this, who’s going to get in front of it, who’s going to own the message that people are talking about a week from now, six months from now, a year from now? (Bob) For ranchers, it can be many things – land, water, animal welfare issues – but Schmidt says the key is to be the first one to set the tone for any conversation that may follow. Build a reputation that includes yourself and your family and your cattle. (Schmidt) You have to say I’m not going to wait for somebody else to do this. I have, as a businessperson, as somebody tied to the Angus industry, as a rancher, as a farmer, as somebody who supplies products into this industry I have a vested interest in the outcome of this industry; therefore I need to be a more vocal advocate for what we do. (Bob) He suggests actions such as writing op-eds for the newspaper, visiting local community groups and personally calling legislators. (Schmidt) A light is shining on us right now. We need to take advantage of this. As an organization, as an association, as a business, but also as individuals. (Bob) I’m Bob Cervera.

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