Planet Forward Founder Frank Sesno spoke with Katie Dotterer-Pyle, farmer at Cow Comfort Inn; Shawn Lightfoot, co-founder of the Fresh Food Factory and Art-Drenaline Cafe; and Chris Policinski, president and CEO of Land O’Lakes, Inc. The panel discussed innovation at all levels, from farms to communities to businesses.
Dotterer-Pyle uses Facebook to tell the story of her farm and her cows. She said that public opinion is the biggest obstacle to her storytelling.
“It’s very scary to find out how many people either don’t drink milk, or think we abuse our cows, or think that we injection them with antibiotics and it’s like, where are you getting this?” she said. She uses the hashtag #AskAFarmerNotGoogle on her Facebook posts.
Lightfoot works with the residents of Anacostia, a neighborhood in Southeast Washington, DC. He provides job training and sustainability education to people often not given a second chance, from ex-felons to veterans.
“The community we chose to work with is the community that’s being overlooked,” Lightfoot said.
Policinski started a new business unit of Land O’Lakes, called Sustain, where the goal is to enrich the sustainability story.
“We all need to mix it up a little bit more to learn the importance of technology, to learn that Katie’s an entrepreneur and her business is driven by innovation and technology and we can trust her,” Policinski said.
Sesno engaged Imani Cheers, a professor at the George Washington University, in the conversation. Cheers offered up story ideas for the three innovators. Her ideas included putting a GoPro on a cow to a launching social media campaign.