NYC Food Adventures: Part 5 (aka Media and Perceptions Day!)

Hello all, and welcome to my final post about food in NYC. I promise, this will be much shorter than my previous posts. (Click on these links to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.)

Our final day in NYC was only a half day to allow for travel back to our homes, but it didn’t mean it was any less impactful than the prior days spent in and around the city. We had a great discussion with a speaker that works to poll consumers to understand what they truly care about when it comes to agriculture and food.

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BUT before we get to that, a few of us decided to get up that morning and swing by the Good Morning America studios to see if we could have a little fun and end up in the background of GMA’s morning broadcast.

It was a cold morning, but being from Upstate and having endured the winter that we have had, the 16 degree weather didn’t seem all that bad!

As we walked up to the studio, the producer came outside and let us know the Ginger Z would be outside in about 10 minutes to do the weather, and that we should make our way to a roped off area. Our crew of about 10 scooted over to the fence and joked around about if we would actually get on national television or not.

The outdoor broadcasting area:

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As it turns out, our crew (and especially myself) ended up getting more than we bargained for! As you can see below we ended up on TV (this is a picture that one of my classmates kid’s snapped at home – and yes, I know everyone in that picture – lots of fun!).

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We were all pumped that we got on the pan of the crowd and were about to leave when all of the sudden I heard someone come up next to me and say “Hi Amie!” – I glanced over and realized it was Ginger Z standing next to me and then thought, she couldn’t possibly be talking to me because she doesn’t know me. So I kind of responded with an “Um, Hi?” back and then she just stood there. Kinda of confusing but a few seconds later they went live and Ginger Z started to talk about how she loved coffee cups because you can really freak people out when you randomly know their name and say Hi, then she used that as a bridge to cut to Amy inside the studio – haha! Pretty random and fun way to start the day!

It was also funny to watch the Facebook posts come rolling in as friends saw me on GMA as it was broadcast across the various time zones! Seems like it surprised a few people to see me on TV (yes, the few people includes me)!

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Since I don’t have a picture of my little clip with Ginger Z, I thought I would just share my awesome-sauce cup that provided 0.5 seconds of national exposure…. I know, I know, you’re completely overwhelmed by my little story right now. Yes I completely dorked out over this, and no I won’t apologize for it – it was unexpected and fun! (And yes, due to the spelling of my name, my alter-ego always orders my coffee).

ANY how, with that experience under my belt, our group headed to our meeting space around the corner and had an awesome session with a Consumer Pollster that focuses on consumers perspectives on food and agriculture. The basic story (some of which I was already aware of) is that most consumers have no concept of where food actually comes from or how it is grown/produced. Only 1% of the US population actually works on farms today, and only 2% work in agriculture related jobs.

Additionally, a large number of consumers don’t actually care where the food comes from or the difficulties that producers encounter in growing the food.  The average consumer just wants the food they want, at the time it is wanted. A hard message to hear by a group that is so engrained in agriculture and food and takes a lot of pride in growing and providing food.

A lot of our discussion circled around how producers can determine how to meet consumer demands in food and understand what is truly desired. We also talked about various ways to help connect consumers to farmers and to help spread knowledge of agriculture where it is desired.

After our 3 hour discussion about consumer demand, my head had more questions than answers. I think this is a good thing. It’s good to be challenged to think about issues differently – which NYC and Long Island absolutely helped to do.

As we headed back home, we had a little time before our train. A few of us were sitting by the lobby door when a classmate came in and exclaimed that this would be an awesome spot for a picture! So hence the picture below…

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One of my classmates thought this should be the album for our band cover (he volunteered to play the tuba in our band, we’re off to an amazing start if I do say so myself!).

And of course since that picture looked pretty cool, we thought we should collect a few more of our classmates for a second picture:

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While we didn’t get everyone, I thought this was a great photo to end an amazing week!

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