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: Aug 31, 12:30 to 1:30 pm

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: (In Person) September 16 at 3:30 pm

Celebrating Your Farmers Union “Why”: Telling the Story of Us and Evening at the Cubs Game

Join us for Celebrating Your Farmers Union “Why”: Telling the Story of Us, the second session in our Leadership and Communication for Impact workshop series. This session will take place in person at Principal Park in Des Moines followed by an all-you-can-eat BBQ picnic and seat to watch the Cubs game.

Session 2 will begin at 3:30 pm in suite 401 at Principal Park (we’ll follow up with detailed directions after registration). In this session, we’ll build on the “Why” work of Session 1 and talk about the story of US, the shared values that tie us together as a Farmers Union. This is a great opportunity for new members to learn a bit more about the foundations of Iowa Farmers Union, and a great opportunity for experienced members and advocates to hone their skills in communicating these values in a way that offers others hope, belonging and, and the opportunity to participate in shared actions that lead to IMPACT and CHANGE.

At 5 pm, stadium gates open, and we’ll move to the Left Feild Picnic Area for an all-you-can-eat barbecue picnic. Attendees will also get a free ICubs t-shirt or hat. After the picnic at 6 pm, we’ll head to the stands to watch the game as a group.

This event is free to folks who join us for the training. If you would like to join us for only the barbecue picnic and game, the registration cost is $25.

Session 3: September 28 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm CT

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: October 12 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. 

Iowa Farmers Union
PO Box 1883 Ames, IA 50010-1883
[email protected]