July 2009

If you’re in ag, this headline likely made you roll your eyes after a few trying weeks of threats to the use of antibiotics.  If you’re not a part of agriculture, you likely have some concerns about about antibiotic usage in food production. Where’s the disconnect?  I believe that the different perspectives come from varying life experiences – remember that 98.5% of the U.S. population have no direct connection with farming. (more…)

Michele Payn-Knoper Earns Certified Speaking Professional Designation

Today I have a medal hanging around my neck. Not the Olympic medal of my youthful aspirations, but the only designation that’s available to professional speakers, known as the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP). I feel a little ridiculous telling you about my excitement in achieving this professional goal, yet several people asked for more of the “personal” blogs after my  “Transparency” posting.  Since there are very few of my colleagues in the National Speakers Association who understand agriculture, I never felt comfortable sharing a lot of details about my work in the past. (more…)

Choices for Food & Farming

Do you believe your farm and food choices are being limited? Some activists raise a lot of money to remove choices at both ends of the food chain.

Choice. It’s fundamental to citizens of developed countries, yet increasingly taken for granted – and threatened. I learned the real value of choice while working with Ukrainians after the communist regime, learning about the control of Egyptian government and seeing the unimaginable poverty of millions in South African squatter camps. When free will is removed from a society and people are collectively forced to bend to the will of “leaders” – choice is no longer an option. (more…)

usflag640Ironically, leaving the United States gives me a better perspective on our country’s beloved freedom.  I wanted to share my thoughts in celebration of Independence Day.  Regardless of your location in the world, I hope this gives you pause to reflect on – and appreciate – the freedoms you value most. (more…)