Guest blogger Scott Ginsberg "That Guy with the Nametag"

As a professional speaker, I’m blessed with an array of colleagues who broaden my perspective, offer great business ideas – and yes, provide inspiration while keeping me grounded. One of those colleagues has worn a nametag for more than 3,450 days.  His name is Scott Ginsberg – and he’s so committed to his cause, he even has his nametag tattooed on to his chest. Scott is one of a few people who writes in a way that touches both the heart and mind – it’s my honor to have his guest post in two-part series this week. I think you’ll find his lessons on infection apply to our work in agriculture – and no vaccines are needed! (more…)

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Ever had a cow lick your video camera? Wonder why a farmer tweets? Want to know how the agricultural community is REALLY using tools such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs?  Take a look at any of these quick videos on the Cause Matters Corp. Facebook Fan page – I can’t say it any better than these farmers and agribusiness folks do. (more…)

MPK Live (unedited)

Today I finally took my spoken word online through video blogging, YouTube, etc.  You wouldn’t think it would take a professional speaker so long to jump into ‘casual videos’, particularly when I ask farmers to do so.  It was a great lesson in overcoming my perfectionist tendencies – and also how simple social media makes video sharing. You can do the same with your webcam, video camera, flip camera or even digital camera. Simple shoot, save, upload and share. (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…)

Eight years ago, I opened up my own shop and became a “professional speaker.” I left the stability of a good salary (at least in the eyes of a farmer’s daughter),  a corporate office team and the opportunity to hob knob with senior managers across the agrifood business. It was exciting, yet terrifying.  In retrospect, becoming an entrepeneur was one of the most rewarding decisions I’ve made – and gave credence to my life standard “no risk, no reward.” (more…)

Last week I had the privilege of  “coaching” the Young Dairy Leaders Institute, a dynamic international group of advocates for agriculture.  We build the two-year program around advocacy as a lifestyle rather than a singular training event.  Given the 50% decline in milk prices at the bulk tank over the last few months, one of the necessary teaching points was resiliency.  (more…)

In a generic sense, that’s an easy question to answer – we all need food, clothes, energy, and a myriad of other products agriculture provides.  It becomes more complicated in today’s sensationalized society driven by the misinformed.  The “cause” of agriculture matters not only because of the products provided for society, but because of the people involved from the farm gate to the consumer plate.  Those people  have been constantly attacked by anti-agriculture activist groups, including HSUS, Farm Sanctuary, PETA, ALF, ELF, Greenpeace, PCRM, et al. 

It’s the faces behind the food plate that have inspired this blog.  (more…)