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Michele Payn-Knoper  

Agricultural Expert, Foodie & Author

Michele Payn is known as one of North America's leading experts in connecting farm and food, and she serves as a resource for people around the plate. Payn encourages all of her clients and audiences to find people's hot buttons and speak their language - whether it's growing the conversation between farm gate and food plate, developing strategy, or building an advocacy plan.

Utilizing her diverse professional experience in the agricultural, sales and not-for-profit sectors, Payn founded Cause Matters Corp., a company designed to build connections around the food plate, in 2001. Cause Matters Corp. focuses on addressing food myths, developing science communication, and connecting farm to food. In each of these core areas, she helps organizations clearly identify issues, understand their audience and grow solutions. Payn's goal is to help you communicate "why your cause matters" - whether you're a scientist, dietitian or in agribusiness.

Payn holds degrees in Agricultural Communications and Animal Science from Michigan State University, where she saw science come to life firsthand as a student worker in the animal reproductive physiology laboratory. Career highlights include a Regional Directorship for the National FFA Foundation, where she sold over $5 million in corporate sponsorships and led campaigns to develop community support for various Foundation expansions. Payn has also marketed and sold dairy genetics to more than 25 countries, managed e-business accounts and presented training programs in developing countries.

Speech Topics


Authentically Agriculture

Go beyond the choir! Get motivated to have a meaningful conversation about agriculture. MPK will help you understand how to do this painlessly, even if you’re wearing work boots and the other has fuchsia fingernails. You’ll walk away ready to make an impact and provoke more interest in what happens on today's farms through common values.

*Authentically Agriculture is also offered as a workshop.

Celebrating Agriculture

MPK will help you stand up and celebrate the people, promise and passion in our business. Laugh and cry while celebrating work from the farm gate to the consumer plate. Find inspiration for agriculture from one of our own. You'll find new "fighting moves" that will get you thinking about our opportunity for the conversation around the plate in this keynote.

Championing Agriculture

Feel like people are clueless about where their food comes from? Frustrated by the way agriculture is portrayed in the media? Wondering why legislators don’t seem to value farms and age? Michele will help you leverage the trust invested in farmers by building human connections. You’ll walk out with 6.5 easy-to-remember & and practical tools to put to work.

Farming Your Social Community

Come find 800 million reasons why our social world matters to agriculture. MPK will highlight how social networks have impacted popular opinion about food and those involved between farm gate, food plate and fork. You’ll gain a couple buckets full of resources related to tools like Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest. And be challenged why your voice isn’t in the conversation.

Lighting Your Fork on Fire: Powered by Your Passion

Are you concerned about media misinformation, celebrity food recommendations and overall food apathy? Ignite a food movement by tapping into your passion as a Registered Dietitian through this keynote that's designed just for you. MPK's understands your power is in your ability to capture your clients and will help you do that through Passion, Credibility, Responsibility and Communication.

Lighting Your Fork on Fire: Powered by Your Passion

Are you concerned about media misinformation, celebrity food recommendations and overall food apathy? Ignite a food movement by tapping into your passion as a Registered Dietitian through this keynote that's designed just for you. MPK's understands your power is in your ability to capture your clients and will help you do that through Passion, Credibility, Responsibility and Communicatio

Knowing the Source: From Gate to Plate

Feel like people don't understand where their food comes from? Concerned that your clients are confused by the junk science behind food studies? Perplexed about how food is grown? You're not alone; professionals across the food system are faced with increasing questions about our food supply. Michele will help you build your knowledge of agriculture with facts about the people & practices in today’s food production.

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