Consultant to U of I Ag Experts: Get Sexier

Posted by George Prentice on Fri, Apr 12, 2013 at 10:29 AM

A group of Idaho food scientists and researchers got an unusual message Thursday: they're pretty low on the charisma meter.

"You lack any sex appeal whatsoever," said Michele Payn-Knoper, author and agriculture advocate. "Does anybody care that you're an expert?"

This morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that Knoper, along officials from the University of Idaho, stood before a roomful of researchers who were schooled on how to make their messages relevant.

"Yes, some people are stupid," said Payn-Knoper. "But we have to do some things a little bit differently. We need to communicate it differently to make it relevant."

The Interim Dean of the U of I's College of Agriculture, John Foltz, agreed.

"We rely, as a university, on facts and figures and people trust us to do the right thing," said Folta. "But there are a lot of other voices out there."

The Tribune reports that Payn-Knoper reminded the group that "fewer than 2 percent of Americans live on farms, and there is a huge disconnect for many between food ... and its source."

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