Troy and Stacy Hadrick are fifth-generation ranchers and founders of Advocates for Agriculture. They traveled to Lexington, Kentucky this week to talk to beef and dairy producers at Alltech’s Global 500. They spoke about influential power, a subject that they are familiar with from first-hand experience.
Troy and Stacy have become some of the most influential “agvocates” around. Their personal experience with negative press inspired them to tell their story rather than allowing others to tell it for them. You might be familiar with the Yellow Tail video that Troy posted on YouTube and the influence that it had on Yellow Tail and their planned donations to the Humane Societ y of the United States.
Stacy told how they were able to turn the tables on PETA at an anti-dairy demonstration in downtown Rapid City, South Dakota. They planned to dress as cows and pour out milk in protest of supposed cruel treatment of dairy cows. Stacy and Troy spread the word and assembled a large group of ranchers to attend the demonstration and to donate milk to a local food bank to replace the milk wasted by PETA. The story in the local press focused on the ranchers’ positive reaction to the event rather than the demonstration itself.
“One American in ten tells the other nine how to vote, where to eat and what to buy,” said Troy. So, who are these influential people and what do they have in common. For one thing, researchers say they attend three or more meetings each year. They come home with information and information is power.
Troy and Stacy told the crowd how to build influence and tell your story. You have to talk, teach and touch.
Start up a conversation. Work on your 30 second elevator speech and start up a conversation with people that you meet. They will be interested and they will ask questions.
Educate the public about what you do. Most people don’t know how their food is raised and they are interested to learn about it.
Be honest and passionate.