My Conversation with Cargill’s “PR Rockstar”
Oprah Winfrey is, without a doubt, the most successful daytime television host of the modern era. She is a media empire unto herself, and her success by any measurable concept is stratospheric.
Because of that, farmers and food professionals were understandably concerned when Oprah announced she would dedicate an entire episode to the “Vegan Challenge.” More or less daring members of her staff to abstain from any animal-derived foods for one week, Oprah spent an episode last week sharing the results. Perhaps surprisingly, she took the tack of encouraging viewers to gain a broader understanding of their food, their overall diet, and where food comes from.
I say surprising, because most of us (myself included), presumed the episode would be bald-faced vegan propaganda. In the final analysis, the episode couldn’t have been any farther from my preconceived notions.
After the episode aired, I reached out to Cargill’s communications team through my role as a Featured Contributor for Feedstuffs and Feedstuffs Foodlink. I spent nearly 40 minutes this week with Mike Martin, Cargill’s Director of Communication, and Nicole Johnson-Hoffman, the star of the Oprah episode and a professional I’ve dubbed a “PR Rockstar.”