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Michele Payn-Knoper, CSP Indiana
Michele Payn-Knoper

Michele Payn-Knoper personifies passion. As a professional speaker, consultant, agriculture expert and author, 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 consumer plate, selling, fundraising or marketing. Widely known as a "change agent," MPK delivers advocacy training programs, workshops and motivational keynotes to empower organizations to reach higher levels of performance.

Utilizing her diverse professional experience in the agricultural, sales and not-for-profit sectors, Michele founded Cause Matters Corp., a company designed to help people understand how to champion their cause, in 2001. Cause Matters Corp. focuses on agricultural advocacy, grassroots marketing, fundraising and sales training. 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."

Michele 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. 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. MPK's strong belief in community-building volunteerism stems from experience on four continents, including work in the Ukraine and Egypt, through United States Agency for International Development (USAID) projects.

Payn-Knoper continues to hone her skills after helping thousands of people around the world. As a member of the National Speakers Association, Michele "ideated" a professional networking group for generation X and Y speakers. She has earned her Certified Speaking Professional, a designation awarded to less than 10% of professional speakers around the world. She also founded #agchat, a weekly streaming conversation on Twitter and has build in a variety of social network groups focused on building stronger connections between the farm gate and consumer plate. Michele walks her talk in her own central Indiana community, volunteering extensively with Boone County 4-H , FFA and her church in a variety of leadership roles.

Michele's lifelong passion for agriculture stems from childhood; she has been breeding and judging dairy cattle as a registered Holstein breeder since the age of nine and now resides on a central Indiana farm with her husband and young daughter. They enjoy building their new farm, making memories with friends, coaching dairy judging teams and cheering on the Michigan State Spartans.


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  • Celebrating Agriculture! - Kick your conference into high gear with this inspirational keynote. Michele helps dispel myths and uphold truths about the value of the agrifood business, as she empowers audience members to share their unique agricultural celebration with others. "Celebrating Agriculture" can be tailored to industry sectors, just as it has been for Monsanto, Iowa Association of Agricultural Educators, American Farm Bureau Federation and Rocky Mountain Association of Fairs. You'll learn 6-1/2 reasons you should celebrate agriculture, why YOU are needed to face today's crisis in the agricultural industry and how to successfully influence consumer, political and media groups.

  • Celebrating the People, Promise & Passion of Agriculture - A heartwarming motivational keynote sure to stir deep emotions of pride and ownership about the agricultural industry and to ignite action! The roots of agriculture are the people; the hope is in the promise of the business; and the future is in the passion we choose to share - from the farm gate to the consumer plate. Michele Payn-Knoper knows agriculture firsthand and will help your ag audience to propel the industry forward. Not only will her lifelong passion and background in agriculture keep your audience on the edge of their seats, Michele's interactive style may propel them out of their seats. Kickboxing is an audience favorite! This unique motivational keynote is customized to each audience, meaning it's effective with agribusinesses, farmers, women in agriculture, farm bureaus or ranchers.

  • Pyramids, Pigs and Passports - Announcing a new idea to help you plan a valuable meeting for these turbulent times! Michele is now collaborating with Certified Speaking Professional Jolene Brown to offer a full day program "Pyramids, Pigs and Passports: Unlikely Sources Teach Valuable Lessons for Agriculture." 35 years of combined professional speaking experience will bring you an exceptional day and peace of mind in your planning. Michele and Jolene deliver great value, new learning, renewed passion and take-home tools for immediate use. By the way, Michele has seen those pyramids, first-hand...and Jolene really has seen a pig fly.
  • Twitter Techniques for Ag Tweeps & Tweets - Training is now available for those who want to make the most of telling agriculture's story in Twitterverse. If you're not familiar with micro blogging, aren't quite sure about @, would like to see the business value of this social media tool or figure out how to participate in "tweet-ups" such as #AgChat, you're invited to take part in this new 60-minute webinar. Michele will discuss why you should tweet, what agriculture's adversaries are doing to proliferate misinformation on Twitter, how you can connect with folks outside of your traditional circles to tell ag's story and tips for harnessing this business tool to quickly send messages about what you do in agriculture. You'll also be given a list of Twitter terms so you can better understand what people are talking about, along with management tools to efficiently handle tweeting and building a great community of tweeps.

  • Farming Your Online Community: Social Media & Beyond - Does the buzz about Facebook, LinkedIn, blogging, Ning, Twitter, YouTube and other online communities really matter to agriculture? Absolutely! Professional speaker Michele Payn-Knoper will explain 200 million reasons why you need to be engaged with social media. You'll learn from her experiences with developing online communities and how social networks are impacting popular opinion about food production. This webinar will give you a road map of how to get started with an online community, understand differences in the major sites and stake your claim in Web 2.0. You'll be surprised with your ability to farm online networks efficiently while maintaining your privacy. Michele is a leader in the agricultural advocacy movement and believes agriculture needs to learn from others online. Come ready to put agriculture in a proactive position and why social networks are ripe with opportunity for agriculture!

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