CommonGround is hosting their 7th annual National Conference in St. Louis, Missouri this week. Members of the organization, which focuses on providing an opportunity for conversations between consumers and farmers, are celebrating seven years of success and planning for the future of the program.
Joan Ruskamp is a CommonGround volunteer who has been part of the effort almost from the very beginning. “Someone else was telling my story,” Ruskamp says about her decision to join. So she attended the training and found ways to step up and tell that story herself.
“We stand on four pillars in the way we have our conversations,” Ruskamp explains. “We seek to be positive. We’re inclusive- so all forms of agriculture are supported and encouraged. We’re credible; we have a base of knowledge and experience to help us share our stories. And we’re real. We’re real women out on our farms and ranches living day-to-day the food production story.”
To date that message is making an impact. CommonGround has made millions of positive impressions in interviews, at events, and on social media platforms, and they’ve grown their own numbers from 14 farm women to more than 200.
Learn more about CommonGround and Joan’s story in my interview with her here: Interview with Joan Ruskamp, CommonGround