If the conversation around farming and food is really going to change for the better, we have to get past talking to each other and reach out to our customers. In writing her book, Food Truths From Farm to Table, author Michele Payn specifically chose consumers as her target audience to move beyond “preaching to the choir.”
She took a risk. She went with a mainstream publisher to reach beyond the choir, and the risk paid off. Payn won third place at the International Publisher (IPPY) awards, the world’s largest book awards contest. She won in the category of medicine, health, and nutrition, rather than agriculture, which meant she had succeeded in reaching the larger audience.
RealAgriculture field editor Dale Leftwich recently had the opportunity to interview Payn, to talk about the 25 food truths discussed in her book. (Incidentily, Leftwich is also one of the 55 farmers, ranchers, and others whose experiences went into the writing of the book.)
Below, Payn and Leftwich discuss food truth number ten, that “Genes are the coolest ingredient on your plate,” as an example of how information can become knowledge, through the art of story telling. (Story continues below…)
“People need more than information and factoids, she says. “They need to hear stories so that they can make sense out of the science…what Food Truths From Farm To Table comes down to is translating the science of a very vast business into stories people can relate to.”
A familiar face and name to many within the agriculture sector, Payn is also an award-winning public speaker and seasoned trainer and facilitator. She’s known for bringing to life the stories of farmers and farm families, and in her training she helps farmers understand how to do the same thing for themselves. “If we don’t take the time to explain it, people are never going to trust it,” she says.