We ACEed It!

We ACEed It!
La Paz County farmer Ava Alcaida and AZ Foodie, Diana Brandt, prepare to cook up some local ag product. This year, we launched a new Social Media Influencer campaign with “AZ Foodie” in order to extend our reach and connections to the “foodie” community in Arizona. Her “Loco about Local” video featuring Alcaida hit 10,717 views on Instagram within a 48-hour period: Total Reach was 21,522; Total Impressions were 24,131.

Annually for the past few years we’ve been sharing your ACEs: Advocacy, Communication and Education. Below we share the highlights of our achievements in the last year that could not have happened without our volunteer leaders. Because of our agriculture leaders and members, we’re in the business of moving things forward. Here’s what happened.

 

Advocacy:

  • Presence at the State Legislature helped defeat HSUS’s Cage-Free Egg Bill and helped secure key committee wins on important water adjudication issues, including subflow priority and futile call doctrine.
  • Active Federal outreach including:
    • Advocated for the successful replacement of the 2015 WOTUS Rule with a new Clean Water Rule that protects both water and property rights
    • Applauded the ratification of the USMCA Trade Agreement
    • Supported the first major overhaul of NEPA to help streamline environmental assessments
  • Drafted 22 public comment letters on issues including pesticide registration reviews, national forest management plans, and endangered species proposals.
  • Developed a new grassroots outreach program spotlighting member stories on key policy issues including trade and rural broadband. The program has reached over 7,000 people to date.

Communication:  

  • Launched new Social Media Influencer campaign with “AZ Foodie”: Her “Loco about Local” video hit 10,717 views on Instagram; Total Reach 21,522, TotalImpressions 24,131.
  • Grew Arizona Farm Bureau’s Video Outreach with combined views of 400,996. AZFB released 37 videos in this 2019/2020 fiscal year.
  • Engaged Arizona’s farmers and ranchers in the weekly “Talk to a Farmer/Rancher Friday” with 51 farmers and ranchers now featured.
  • As of July 2020, we’re closing in on our previous “Impressions” numbers. We now stand at 14.3 million impression versus last’s year’s 14.7 million.
  • This year, Arizona Farm Bureau became a leading voice for the media on a number of issues including water, Arizona agriculture, food prices and more. We estimate we connected through traditional media with a 20% to 30% increase from the previous fiscal Year
  • Women’s Leadership and Young Farmer & Rancher Committees garnered increased social media attention though special outreach campaigns

     

    Education:

     

    • Educated 120, 769 students, teachers and consumers across the state with classroom presentations curriculum kits, materials and programs.
      • Ag Literacy Events (over 37,000 students in 1,575 classrooms)
      • 44 Online Story Time Lessons viewed 45,396        
      • 265 curriculum kits used by 9,748 students
    • Partnered with the Advocacy Team allowed for the hosting of 7 Ag Issues Webinars covering water, labor, Endangered Species Act, Ag Trade, COVID, Fake Meat and How a Bill Becomes a Law to educate High School aged students on what is important.
    • Awarded the Arizona Ag Skills and Competencies Certificate to 49 students throughout the state. Certifies students are trained in skills relevant to Ag Industry employers.
    • Continued to sponsor the Arizona Agriculture Educations Program Evaluation Instrument. Nearly $15,000 was provided as support to ag teachers in developing and maintaining quality programs.

       

      Arizona Farm Bureau’s Response to COVID-19: Working for You in the Midst of Pandemic

      Advocacy

      • Advocated for support for Arizona’s farmers and ranchers by:
        • Successfully ensuring that farm and ranch activities were included as “essential” industry functions allowed to continue even in the face of economic shutdowns
        • Working closely with agency contacts to include farm and ranch businesses in Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan coverage
        • Generated dozens of contacts with USDA to advocate for the inclusion of alfalfa, nursery, and long-staple cotton in CFAP Relief
      • Created and continually updated a COVID-19 specific web page to provide members with easy-to-find information about worker safety, economic relief, and statewide regulatory changes
      • Worked with American Farm Bureau to establish a Livestock Markets Taskforce to discuss necessary policy changes in light of supply chain disruptions in the meat industry
      • Successfully transitioned to a virtual Issues Advisory Conference to prioritize policy discussions. Committee discussions occurred via online meeting, and breakout sessions were delivered through once-weekly webinars. Participation increased by 40 percent over the year before.

    Communication

  • Quickly pivoted to a COVID-19 Customer Care program with Outreach team members making 3 daily calls to farm and ranch members, where 1,600 farm and ranch members will have been reached by August’s end.
  • Managed media queries, placed op-eds and became a leading voice for understanding the disruptions in the food supply chain. Arizona Farm Bureau earned hundreds of media mentions and one 24-hour news cycle was on every major broadcast media outlet.
  • Launched a new Social Media Outreach effort where Mondays and Tuesdays Arizona Farm Bureau features ag member farmers and ranchers using AFBF’s #StillFarming (with AZFB adding #StillRanching) and Arizona Farm Bureau’s #WorkingFromHome.
  • Supported our county leadership by seamlessly providing virtual technology for county meetings including working with Government Relations in supporting various options for the County Annual Meetings: In-Person, Fully Virtual and Hybrid.

 

Education

  • In response to school building closures, Ag in the Classroom (AITC)was able to pivot quickly and generate 44-online story time sessions and activities, virtual presentations, and additional digital resources that were viewed over 45,000 times in 2 months.
  • The Hatch at Home Project was developed to allow parents to bring STEM and Project Based learning into their homes during this unprecedented time. Chick-Check-Ins, daily videos posted from AITC, showed step-by-step incubator set-up, daily progress updates through the embryology process, online embryology lessons and activities, and live stream hatching, guided families through the process. Over 100 chicks were hatched.
  • The Virtual Ag Tour Series was developed from the need of teachers to have online lessons and experiences to share with their students as school began online. The monthly tours also include a student worksheet to keep the students engaged and asking questions.
  • AITC is now offering a hybrid program. This flexibility will allow the Education Team to visit classrooms where allowed and also continue to reach classrooms that have more restrictions on classroom visitors.
  • Digital Curriculum will continue to play a valuable role in helping our teachers and students be successful. Look out for AITC’s Digital Ag Mags, Digital Ag Careers Book, and other digital materials on our website!

 

As the new fiscal year begins on October 1, we’re rolling out our plans directed by our volunteer leadership to keep ACEing on our advocacy, communication and education. We’re excited for what’s ahead and perhaps will have the worst of the COVID pandemic behind us!