Since its establishment in 1970, Agriculture Communicators of Florida has been dedicated to sharing the story of Florida agriculture. In 2009, the board approved a new mission statement: “To educate, encourage and empower individuals and organizations to communicate more effectively on behalf of Florida agriculture.”
In order to do this right, ACF has a few responsibilities:
This year, we pivoted some of our plans to adjust to the devastating COVID-19 pandemic. ACF members worked hard to ensure their organizations stayed afloat, their employees stayed safe, and our industry stayed top-of-mind for consumers and retailers. One unique outcome was that for the first time, farming and agriculture ranked No. 1 for the most positive sentiment of a U.S. industry sector in a 2020 Gallup poll.
Unfortunately, we had to postpone our first influencer tour due to COVID-19, but we are excited to announce that it has been rescheduled for February of 2021. ACF, partnering with the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, will present a Florida farm influencer tour to help educate consumers of where their food comes from. Using influencers and blogs as communication tools, we look forward to reaching an audience that extends beyond our own reach. Be sure to follow the tour on our social media channels next year.
ACF is also looking at new opportunities for virtual farm tours in addition to our virtual educational programs. This year, we hosted an influential workshop that helped agriculture communicators better respond to consumer questions about pesticide use. We also heard best practices from communication leaders on strategic communications within a small budget. Stay tuned for continued important programming next year. We also hope to host an in-person member mixer next fall.
ACF also recognizes the importance of supporting young leaders in agriculture. Each year, we provide two scholarships to the UF Agricultural Education and Communication Department to assist two students in completing their degrees in agriculture communication.
As a volunteer organization, we rely on each other to make progress. One of the most simple, yet greatest values ACF brings is having each other as a resource to spread important industry messages, and also as a sounding board for communicators who are in a niche industry. Many thanks to our board members who continue to dedicate their time. As always, we appreciate all feedback, suggestions and ideas on how we can further our mission. If you would like to get involved on the board or on a committee, please let us know.
But the most thanks goes to you, the membership. Without your support, this group wouldn’t be possible. We hope you continue to find value in your membership. Thank you for your commitment to the industry and for helping tell the story of Florida agriculture.
Alyssa List, ACF President