Iowa Farmers Union believes that we can change the world – one story at a time. This fall we’ll be offering a series of interactive Zooms – and one in-person event – that takes both experienced and beginning ag-activists through practical steps to hone a unique message and deliver it effectively with action in mind. Using the Self-Us-Now Community Organizing framework, we will work on finding personal stories that connect to broader messages, and then work to prune, prepare and practice for maximum impact. 

This series will be led by IFU Communications Staff and Kriss Marion, Communications Specialist with Wisconsin Farmers Union. Kriss is a small-scale shepherd and farm stay host from the Driftless Region of SW Wisconsin, and has been growing her Circle M Market Farm and driving change through storytelling for several decades. She is the communications lead for Wisconsin Women in Conservation.

Session 1:

Finding Your “Why” and Why Your Why Matters

In this first Session, we’ll work together to build a better personal “Elevator Pitch” and talk about how you just might use it every day. If you plan to go to Fly-In, to Lobby Day, or even just to talk to a neighbor about a community issue of importance to you, having a personal “Why” crafted ahead of time will make your interactions more impactful. Personal stories are essential to advocacy work, and we’ll spend some time thinking about how we can make them short, intentional, and powerful.

Session 2:

Crafting Your “WHY” into Various Messages for Impact

Want to have more impact in your ag-advocacy?

Got a burning issue you’d like to engage other people on?

Want to build networks to make good change that lasts?

Join members of the Iowa Farmers Union board for Part 2 of our “Leadership and Communication for Impact” training.

In this training, we’ll be leveraging time together to work on crafting our personal “why” stories and experiences into meaningful messages of varying lengths that move others to act with us. Learn the Self-Us-Now model of communicating for impact and learn to effortlessly answer the question “Why Do YOU IFU?”

A bonus of this training is we’ll get to know each other better as we share, practice and support each other in learning to tell stories that change the world.

Session 3: 

Media Readiness and Media Outreach: Doing the Preparation to Make Sure You Have Maximum Impact

In Session 3 we discuss how to take our personal stories plus the values that unite us and apply them to outreach and media opportunities. We’ll talk about how to construct letters to the editor, editorial pieces, speeches, social media posts and podcasts for maximum impact. We’ll also talk about how to prepare for interviews on the radio, television and newspaper. 

Session 4: Thursday, Dec. 14 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm CT

Taking Your Story to the Streets: From One-on-Ones to Running for Office

Leadership takes all forms. Everything from over-the-fence conversations, appointments with community influencers, meetings with elected officials, and on-farm events can provide you with an opportunity to move the needle in your neighborhood or make big change. We’ll talk about the nuts and bolts of effective one-on-ones and we’ll talk about the basics of running for office. This final session will also prepare participants to contribute to an impactful IFU Lobby Day in January.