It’s hard to imagine a topic more complex and all-encompassing as food. We all eat! And we all have opinions about how we should be able to get our food and how it’s produced. Lots of livelihoods are involved as well our cultural stories and behaviors.
Maine Food Strategy team members participated today in a call with folks from all six New England states on how to communicate effectively about food systems planning, given the challenges of this complex terrain. The call was facilitated by Ellen Kahler from Vermont’s Farm-to-Plate effort.
We heard about convening strategies, communications methods (including, but not limited to electronic methods), network management and the ways to trying to ensure engagement/participation opportunities for folks who traditionally have not be able to get involved!
And we’re not alone in thinking about this here in Maine…There’s lots of chatter about this topic!
One important message came through loud and clear, though, about the power of convening…
Anything we can all do to convene people (and not just the usual suspects) and create an environment for free-flowing conversation, in a well-facilitated and well-structured way is valuable for relationship and network building. The convening function is really critical and sets the stage for network strengthening and implementation (of food-related action plans). People find huge value at these convenings because their expertise and passion is valued as part of creating a statewide strategy.
A bit more about food systems communication from around the web….