On September 6-8, Texas corn farmers from across the state gathered in downtown Fort Worth to attend the sixth annual Leadership, Activism, Networking, and Development (LAND) program hosted by Texas Corn Producers (TCP). While there, farmers trained on how to become more knowledgeable on the corn industry and gain insight to leadership opportunities available within the world of agriculture.

LAND participants learn from industry specialists.

TCPA President, Wesley Spurlock, addresses LAND participants.

With the growing want from consumers to know more about what is in their food, as well as how it is produced, it is important for agriculturalists to be able to effectively share their story. In order to be more transparent about farm practices, participants were trained on how to speak about their livelihood. Creating dynamic producers and educated consumers.

To accomplish this, TCP brought in external experts, facilitators and educators to provide attendees with different perspectives and techniques.  Participants engaged in conversations, workshops and trainings that taught them everything from how to network with legislators and consumers, to setting up engaging social media platforms and talking with media to better advocate for the agricultural industry.

Farmers learned the importance of communicating through a value-based system when hosting conversations about agriculture to consumers. Doing so brings the separate lives of a producer and consumer closer together by helping each realize they are both passionate about similar areas of importance when it comes to producing commodities. Following the introduction of value-based messaging, participants then learned how to implement those efforts through media channels without having to leave the comfort of their farm.

Russell and Julia Williams, former D.C. insiders – now farming couple in Dalhart, discussed the importance of going to bat for sound agricultural policy. Engaging with lawmakers and congresspeople to see the correlation in this with providing their constituents with affordable, domestic and high-quality food sources.

Knowing everyone has a hand in the success of a farm, it was important to make this event for couples. Engaging all parties involved on the farm allows for more opportunities to share agriculture’s story and importance with a wider audience.

Included in the weekend of training was the recognition for the “LAND Leaders of the Year.”This year, the award was earned by Cole and Kyla Hamilton, class of 2014 LAND and owners and operators of Rockwater Farms Inc. in Shallowater, Texas. The couple shared how LAND opened opportunities for each of them to grow in leadership roles within agriculture.

With their new knowledge and sharpened skills, participants were given a variety of outlets to exercise agricultural literacy in their communities and industries. At the conclusion of the program, participants were excited and ready to speak on behalf of their industry through avenues like school visits, fundraising activities, media inquiries and TCP leadership opportunities.

The 2019 LAND participants included:

LAND 2019 Group Participants

Participants of the 2019 LAND conference gather in Fort Worth, Texas.

  • John & Lydia Abney – Hillsboro, Texas
  • Sam & Cari Beauchamp – Farnsworth, Texas
  • Lincoln & Whitley Devault – Farwell, Texas
  • Steven & Shannon Ebeling – Plainview, Texas
  • Gentry & Macy George – Tulia, Texas
  • Cameron & Kaylee Gruhlkey – Dalhart, Texas
  • Wesley Gwosdz – Orange Grove, Texas
  • Bryce & Morgan Osborn – Sinton, Texas

TCPA appreciates the speakers, sponsors: Bayer, Corteva Agriscience, Ag Texas, Ag Workers, Capital Farm Credit, BNSF Railway, and participants for making LAND possible. Those who are in

terested in participating in LAND 2020 should contact the office at info@texascorn.org or 806.763.CORN (2676).


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