Mercer County Farm Bureau member Lisa Kahlig has served on the county board of trustees as secretary and Communications Action Team chair. She also participated in the American Farm Bureau Women’s Boot Camp.
As director of grower relations at Cooper Farms in Ft. Recovery, Ohio, her ag career is rooted in agricultural communications. Cooper Farms is a family-owned company that works with individual family farms to raise hogs, turkeys, and layer hens.
The components of her grower relations position are threefold: (1) she oversees internal communication between Cooper Farms and its growers, (2) Cooper’s communication with the public, and (3) grower communication with the public. Because of her diverse job responsibilities, Kahlig’s tasks vary widely from day-to-day. The common thread is that no matter where Lisa finds herself, she’s advocating for and furthering the ag industry.
She said the company’s virtual farm tours are a unique and rewarding part of her job.
“[The farmer] goes out in his barn and I go to the school, and we kind of do this virtual field trip to the farm,” she explained.
This is a creative way to engage young consumers with the way their food is raised without compromising the biosecurity of the barns. Young students really enjoy the experience and often pose important questions, opening the door for Kahlig to talk about animal agriculture.
“It never ceases to amaze me how many kids have never actually been to a barn or been to a farm,” she said.
For those looking into a career in ag communications, Kahlig’s advice: “Networking. Never be afraid to network.”
By nature of a job like hers, she emphasized it’s equally important to build connections both inside and outside of the ag industry.
“One of the great things about ag communications is you actually do a lot outside of the ag community kind of promoting agriculture,” she said.
To see the full interview with Lisa Kahlig of Cooper Farms, click here.
Lisa and her husband, Doug, were editors of the June 2018 Growing our Generation newsletter for young agricultural professionals.