EQUIPPING leaders within the livestock industry with vital communication skills was an important part of an agricultural workshop in Bendigo this week.
The Livestock Collective aims to educate people about farming and agriculture.
It hosted 16 Victorians from different agricultural backgrounds including vets, goat, beef, sheep and wool producers at the workshop on Wednesday and Thursday.
Event co-ordinator Milly Nolan said the workshop aimed to promote a collaborative, united livestock sector by providing opportunities for industry stakeholders to represent themselves through positive and effective community engagement.
"The purpose of the event is to build the capacity of the supply chain to share their stories," she said.
"We want to get them together and empower them and provide them with the confidence and skills to advocate their own voices in social media, getting into the media and just in everyday conversation.
"We are about respectful conversation and we spent Wednesday focusing on communication and shared values."
Ms Nolan said The Livestock Collective wanted to educate people about agricultural practices, particularly involving livestock, to increase the level of trust in the industry.
"We want to connect with the public and give them an opportunity to have an insight in agriculture," she said.
Thursday's workshop was part of a series of workshops held across the country.
Undera dairy farmer Sarah Parker participated in the Bendigo workshop.
She said building communication skills around live export and animal welfare was a major component of the event.
"The workshop has been brilliant and it has been challenging in terms of who you are and what you do and how you tell the story of farming and the livestock industry," she said.
"It's important to learn how to communicate so we have engagement but also still tell a story."
Ms Parker said it was great learning about engagement and how to tell a story.
"I am trying to tell the story of 'yes, I am a dairy farmer but I also contribute to my community in a sustainable way'," she said.
Echuca participant Andy Jacob said building knowledge around the media landscape was vital to many attendees.
"This workshop has been a development around how to articulate yourself and how to be confident when addressing the media," he said.
"This is not our skillset, communicating with media and communicating in a public forum, majority of us involved are farmers, producers, truck drivers and although they are great with what they do, they need some help with the media."
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