Ballot initiatives. Undercover videos. “Pink slime.” Animal agriculture has gone through the ringer when it comes to activist actions and misinformed marketing schemes, subsequently adding a new role for farmers and ranchers who feel compelled to speak up for the community they love. At the Animal Agriculture Alliance’s 2022 Stakeholders Summit, three rockstar “ag-vocates” will break down how engagement has evolved, share their success stories and discuss what response methods and tactics we should perhaps leave behind as we continue to stand up for our livelihood. Early bird registration rates have been extended through March 16 at bit.ly/AAA22Summit.

“Just as social media and other communication vessels evolve, so do the best practices for those wanting to connect and engage via those channels,” said Emily Solis, Alliance communications specialist. “Brandi Buzzard, Debbie Lyons-Blythe and Carrie Mess are long-time advocates for agriculture who have tweaked and adapted their methods of communication to earn attention and resonate with the general public–and now, they’re ready to share what they’ve learned with others at the 2022 Summit.”

Brandi Buzzard has been a passionate agriculture advocate for more than a decade, helping others to share their story. She has spoken on MSNBC, FOX and CBS addressing issues like conservation, beef sustainability and nutrition. She has also visited the White House and spoken to senior White House officials about agriculture and sustainability. She is currently the director of communications for the Red Angus Association of America and editor of the Red Angus Magazine. Buzzard farms in southeast Kansas with her husband and two daughters.

Debbie Lyons-Blythe is a cattle rancher in the Flint Hills of Kansas. She and her husband run a registered Angus cowherd as well as a crossbred herd and raise 300 heifers that they sell as bred heifers across the nation. Blythe Family Farms is a founding member of the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, and Debbie is the chairman-elect for the organization.

Carrie Mess is a dairy farmer in Wisconsin, working alongside her husband and his parents. In 2011, she started her “Dairy Carrie” blog to share more about her life on the farm and address common misconceptions about food and agriculture. She now splits her time between being a mom, working on the farm and sharing what she’s learned about food, agriculture and engaging with consumers.

The Alliance’s annual Summit brings together thought leaders in the agriculture and food communities to discuss hot-button issues and out-of-the-box ideas to connect everyone along the food chain, engage influencers and protect the future of animal agriculture. The 2022 event, themed “Come Together for Animal Ag: Be Informed, Be Ready, Be Here,” is scheduled for May 11-12 in Kansas City, Missouri. Preconference webinars will be held in the weeks leading up to the main event. In-person and virtual attendance options are both available.

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Be sure to check the Summit website for the most up-to-date information. You can also follow the hashtag #AAA22 for periodic updates about the event. For general questions about the Summit, please contact summit@animalagalliance.org or call (703) 562-5160.

Get involved

Show your support for the Alliance’s outreach efforts by becoming an official Summit sponsor today. For 2022 sponsorship opportunities, please visit animalagalliance.org/initiatives/stakeholders-summit/. For more information, contact Casey Kinler at ckinler@animalagalliance.org

Thank you to our 2022 Summit sponsors: Watt Global Media, Farm Journal, Meatingplace, National Pork Producers Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Board, Tyson Foods Inc., American Feed Industry Association, United Soybean Board, Mountaire Farms, United Egg Producers, Dairy MAX, Farm Credit, Adisseo, Cobb Vantress, Inc., Protect the Harvest, Progressive Dairy, Clean Fuels Alliance America, Kemin, American Farm Bureau Federation, Empirical, American Veal Association, National Chicken Council, Trans Ova Genetics, Vivayic, Agri Beef, Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, Live Oak Bank, North Carolina Farm Bureau and Eggland’s Best.

The Alliance also thanks the following members for their continued support of Summit and other Alliance programs: U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, Zoetis, Merck Animal Health, C.O.nxt, Diamond V, Genus PLC – PIC/ABS, Aviagen Group, Boehringer Ingelheim, Cargill, Dairy Farmers of America, Hendrix Genetics, Hy-Line North America, LLC, Iowa Soybean Association, Kanas Soybean Commission, Midwest Dairy, National Turkey Federation, Nutrien, Provimi North America, Inc. and Seaboard Foods.