Building Strong Advocates

As members of the American Farm Bureau Partners in Advocacy Leadership Class 11, nine other agriculture leaders and I have spent countless hours becoming better advocates for agriculture. PAL is an executive-level leadership experience over two years, highlighting media training, legislative and consumer engagement. 

Learn more about the PAL program here

A. Advocacy Through Media

Module A focuses on building foundational knowledge and skills as storytelling advocates. Participants reflect on their experiences in agriculture, their strengths, and unique perspectives that give them credibility as advocates. They experience models of advocacy through storytelling, primarily through media channels. This module is about helping participants develop clarity about their skill sets, opportunities for growth, and personal story.

Key concepts:

·         Media Storytelling

·         Media Relationships

·         Consumer Engagement

·         Stakeholder Awareness

·         Gain Foundational Sustainability Knowledge

B. Political Advocacy

Module B focus on how to advocate effectively through multiple channels, leverage lobbying skills to influence Capitol Hill stakeholders at the national level, identify how influential members of Congress impact the regulatory process and engage with people who have opposing viewpoints.

Key concepts:

·         Understanding the Legislative Process

·         Developing Issue Strategy

·         Developing and Delivering Testimony

·         Insights on Power and Influence

·         Looking Behind the Scenes of US politics

·         Expanding circle of political influence

·         Utilizing social media as an Advocacy Tool

C. Stakeholder Engagement

Module C focuses on finding common ground on an emerging issue with stakeholder groups of diverse viewpoints. Ideally, the best way to address an issue is to prevent it from becoming one. This module teaches stakeholder engagement and provides techniques for dealing proactively with issue development.

Key concepts:

·         Building Relationships with Stakeholders

·         Participating in Panel Discussions

·         Crafting a Personal Brand

·         Conflict Resolution 

D. Advocacy Through Global Prospectives

Module D focuses on developing a broader perspective of agriculture and view advocacy through a global lens.

Key concepts:

·   Looking at Sustainability/Climate Change from a different country’s perspective  

·   Global view of U.S. agriculture (meetings with other organizations, transportation issues, environmental restrictions, government payments, etc.)

·    Different farming practices (farm tours, etc.)

·    Stretch experiences that heighten self-awareness.

"Skills are the seeds you plant, and strengths are the sunlight and water that help them grow. Nurture them both, and watch your potential bloom"

CliftonStrengths Results

INFLUENCING: Communication

"You generally find it easy to put your thoughts into words. You are a good conversationalist and presenter."


"You have certain core values that are unchanging. Out of these values emerges a defined purpose for your life."


"You enjoy close relationships with others. You find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal."


"You look for consensus. You don’t enjoy conflict; rather, you seek areas of agreement." 


"You recognize and cultivate the potential in others. You spot the signs of each small improvement and derive satisfaction from the evidence of progress."


"You love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. You derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with someone."


"You can sense other people’s feelings by imagining yourself in others’ lives or situations."


"You have contagious enthusiasm. You are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do."

EXECUTING: Responsibility 

"You take psychological ownership of what you say you will do. You are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty."


"You are inspired by the future and what could be. You energize others with your visions of the future."