Community Catalyst. Advocate. Farm & Food Connector.
Michele Payn-Knoper personifies passion. Known as one of North America’s leading farm and food advocates, she serves as a resource for people interested in agriculture and food through speaking and community building programs. Michele encourages all of her clients and audiences to connect with people’s hot buttons and speak their language – whether it’s building a connection between farm gate and food plate, developing corporate sponsorships or growing advocacy. Widely known as a “change agent,” MPK delivers advocacy training programs and motivational keynotes to empower organizations to build connected communities.
Utilizing her diverse professional experience in the agricultural, sales and not-for-profit sectors, Michele founded Cause Matters Corp., a company designed to build connections around the food plate, in 2001. Cause Matters Corp. focuses on agricultural advocacy, social media strategy, community engagement and growing a food movement. In each of these four core areas, MPK helps organizations clearly identify issues, understand their audience and connect solutions. Michele’s goal is to help you communicate “why your cause matters.”
She knows agriculture because she lives agriculture. Payn-Knoper holds degrees in Agricultural Communications and Animal Science from Michigan State University, where she is past president of College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Alumni Association and had her work featured in a Spartan Saga. 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. She has also marketed and sold dairy genetics to more than 25 countries, managed e-business accounts and presented training programs in developing countries. Michele still holds her firsthand farm experience as the best contributor to her work as an agvocate.