Food Policy Council Hosts Farm Bill Train-the-Trainer!

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The Food Policy Council hosted two Train-the-Trainer opportunities to expand the region's capacity to advocate for the 2023 Farm Bill.

Published July 22, 2023

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The Food Policy Council hosted two Train-the-Trainer opportunities to expand the region’s capacity to advocate for the 2023 Farm Bill.

a slide that shows the title of the event and the FPC logo

The Purpose of the Farm Bill Train-the-Trainer

The Food Policy Council Members inspired the Train-the-Trainer events. Our Council Members knew it was essential to expand Farm Bill advocacy across the ten-county region, so we support our networks in advocating for a 2023 Farm Bill that builds a resilient regional food system.

Individuals could register for the Train-the-Trainer event. Participants in the training learned advocacy techniques that included:

🥕 curated regional data with source information,

🧅 stories from regional residents and national stakeholders,

🥬 solutions that call legislators to action around agriculture and the food system, and

🥕 activities to make future advocacy sessions more interactive.

Participants were presented with the Farm Bill Resource Guide during the training. The Guide curated information into one tool that supports capacity-building among the participants and their networks.

FPC Farm Bill Resource Guide

The Resource Guide is sectioned into the titles of the Farm Bill, and each Section is organized using the Story-telling Formula borrowed from Kentucky Food Action Network (KFAN). The Sections are organized into Stories, Data, and Calls-to-Action (solutions). The image below shows the Story-telling Formula and the techniques to strengthen written or spoken story-based advocacy.

a slide explaining the KFAN Story-telling formula for advocacy

The Resource Guide does not include the Trade Title since the international scope is beyond the bandwidth of a regional council. In addition, the Nutrition Title was made into its own Guide. The Nutrition Title is almost 80% of the 2018 Farm Bill budget, and its programming is complex enough to be its own topic. The two Resource Guides are useful together as the Nutrition Title is intertwined with the Titles associated with regional food (e.g., Horticulture Title).

You can scroll through our curated Resource Guide. If you want your own copy, you can request one by emailing [email protected].

The Resource Guide curates information together in one tool. The Resource Guide includes the following information:

  • stories from regional and national stakeholders,
  • USDA and other food system data from Ohio, Kentucky, and/or Indiana,
  • recommendations from the platforms of state and national organizations,
  • and examples of marker bills related to the Farm Bill Title, as the bills act as call-to-actions.

Each trainer will have access to their version of the Resource Guide. We encourage trainers to adapt the Guide to their audience(s). The purpose for trainers to have access to the Resource Guide is to:

  • use the framework of what is provided and build upon it to learn more and share with the intended audience.
  • adapt the information based on the audience so the material aligns with what is important to them.
  • focus on state-specific data and stories, especially if the material is presented to legislators or organizations serving particular states in our region.

The video (below) provides additional information and examples from the Resource Guide.

Breakout Sessions: Peer Learning and Collaboration

There were two Train-the-Trainer sessions. One was in person on July 11, and one was virtual on July 14th. Both sessions consisted of breakout sessions, which fostered collaboration and peer learning.

There were three breakout sessions during each training. The breakout questions were opportunities to:

  • think of groups or organizations that could benefit from hosting a Farm Bill advocacy event,
  • provide examples of advocacy communication techniques, and
  • practice techniques while considering who the audience could be.
Picture: attendees & presenter
Breakout Group 1
Breakout Group 2
Breakout Group 1 Again
Breakout Group 3

Participants had opportunities to share with the rest of the group, which then guided the conversations during the training. The Resource Guide and its data & stories were critical pieces to help “guide” the training along.

What is Next? Capacity Building and Advocacy

Step One: Watch the Training Video

First, you can watch the recording of the virtual training. We edited out the breakout sessions. You can also find the video on our YouTube Channel: Farm Bill Playlist!

Once you watch the virtual training, you can request a copy of the Resource Guide. Each trainer will receive their own link to the Resource Guide to edit it according to their network.

Step Two: Host an Advocacy Event

One of the goals for the Train-the-Trainer events was to connect organizations that want to host a trainer with a trainer who wants to lead an advocacy event. Let us know if you are interested in hosting an advocacy session but need an organization to connect with!

Whether you host an advocacy event with an organization we connect you with or through your network, let us know you are hosting an event! We want to spotlight opportunities. Some spotlights include inviting trainers to write a guest blog post about their event, sharing the event with our network through Council Digests or our quarterly newsletter, or sharing on social media.

Step Three: Write a Letter and Encourage Others, too!

The Food Policy Council will be submitting letters as a collective to the 11 federal legislators in our region so we amplify and unify our messaging! Since the Food Policy Council’s vision is to create a resilient regional food system, our Council and Committee Members’ letters advocate for a 2023 Farm Bill that creates just that!

Even if you aren’t a Council or Committee Member, you can still send your own letter! We have a Farm Bill Letter-Writing Guide and a Farm Bill Issues to Solutions document that can provide recommendations on composing your letter. We’ll be publishing a blog post on the letter-writing guide, so check out our website for when it is published.

You can encourage your network to write letters as well! Share the Letter-Writing Guide and the Issues to Solutions with others, as a volume of letters calling for similar actions is impactful.

The 2023 Farm Bill should be authorized at the end of September 2023. To learn more, please check out our other blog posts, YouTube Channel, and partner organizations’ Farm Bill campaign pages.

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