Since its establishment in 1970, Agriculture Communicators of Florida has been dedicated to sharing the story of Florida agriculture. In 2009, under then-ACF President Betsy McGill’s leadership, 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 partnered with the Orlando chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, a national organization committed to educating their members, who also are communications professionals. We sponsored and attended a half-day program that provided us insight into new trends, tools and best practices for strategic and effective communication.
We also value our relationship with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Center for Public Issues Education (PIE Center). We’ve partnered on agriculture communication workshops over the years, and we will continue to look for opportunities to provide more workshops in the coming years.
During a year of collecting research for better ways to tell our story, the board also approved a milestone event that will take place next March. We’re excited to announce that 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 blogs and influencers as communication tools has become an effective way to garner public attention and reach an audience that extends beyond our own resources. We look forward to sharing more details with you next year and how you can follow along on social media.
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.
It’s hard to believe that the year is almost over when there’s so much more we want to do, but I hope you will continue to connect with us over the next year. One of the simplest, yet biggest values I believe 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 that not everyone understands. As always, I appreciate any feedback, suggestions or ideas on how we can further our mission.
As a volunteer organization, we rely on each other to make progress. Many thanks to Tory Moore of UF/IFAS, who handed me the baton this year and trusted in me to lead as ACF President, and to our board members who continue to dedicate their time.
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. Dues renewal notices will be going out soon, and we appreciate your prompt payment.
Thank you for your commitment to the industry and for helping tell the story of Florida agriculture.