Monday, February 14, 2011

A Spokesman for Agriculture

So many people have said we need to have some sort of official spokesman for agriculture.  On the surface this sounds like a good idea.  That's what most anti-agriculture groups do to distort the truth of food production.  They cart out some celebrity who has never given agriculture a second thought and try to convince the public that they are somehow an expert.

We are fortunate enough to get to share our story with other producers quite often and we always emphasize to them that we are the true experts.  That's why it's so important that we are out telling the real story as often as we can.  And that's also why I don't want some celebrity trying to be a spokesman for me!

We've seen how difficult it can be to get the real story of ag out to consumers.  The last thing I want is a paid celebrity trying to tell my story for me.  Some people will say that celebrities can reach a broader audience than we can.  That's not true.  If every farmer and rancher told their story to one new person every day just think how many people we would reach with the truth.  Even Mike Rowe said that farmers and ranchers are their own best spokesmen.

It may seem difficult for us to reach a new person every day but through things like social media and programs like Farm American we can do it.  Social media lets us talk to people all over the world without ever leaving home.  Many conversations about agriculture are taking place on social media so it's important that we are there to be part of them.

The Farm American program is an incredible opportunity for us to use the resources of Furniture Row to spread the message.  Between their NASCAR team and their retail locations, we can reach 160 million people a week.  The main goal of the Farm American program is to highlight the farmers and ranchers themselves so they can share their story.  The folks at Furniture Row don't pretend to be experts in agriculture, they just want to provide platforms for the real experts to talk to consumers.

Family farmers and ranchers don't need a spokesman, we are the spokesman.  Nobody will tell our story with the same accuracy and passion as we will.  That's one of the main reasons why we continue to give our fellow producers the tools to tell their story.  Its also why we are avid supporters of the Farm American program.

8 comments:

Daryl and Jody Donohue said...

Troy,
I completely agree. Why should we settle for a single spokesperson when we can have millions that have an actual personal connection with our consumers.

You don't have to be famous to be a great spokesperson for ag. Just be real.

John Blue said...

Great point about we are the spokepeople for ag. I do think there could be some work done to organize and coordinate those in ag to gain more exposure via larger media channels; those "The More You Know" like spots on NBC. Or, a "We Are The World" like concert, bringing in farmers/ranchers to celebrate ag:)

sara said...

It might be hard to believe these days but there are celebrities that are involved in agriculture. Mathew McConaughey is partners on a ranch with his family and the lead singer of Alabama is a big Hereford & Angus Guy. They just aren't as vocal as the D-list celebrities that need the attention. I agree we need to tell our story but it would help if we had some people helping with a voice that carries a little further.

McConaughey 's ranch:
http://www.lpangusranch.com/staff.html

Randy Owens:
http://www.tennesseerivermusic.com/index.html

A Rancher's Wife said...

I second a "We are the World" concert! ;)

Mary said...

I couldn't agree more, we can speak for ourselves since it's us who knows the truth.

Hmiller said...

I wish you had a twitter button so I could share this article on twitter!

Sam said...

I absolutely agree with this post. All too often we hear the media negatively portray agriculture, and consumers sometimes believe it because they don't know any better. It is up to the many farmers and ranchers who love what we do, to get out there and be heard, to let the consumers hear our story, and to show them all just how awesome agriculture is!

Thanks for the awesome blog, and great post!

Kem Minnick and Tabitha Farrar said...

Part of what Eat Meat and Be Happy! Strives to achieve is to provide a voice for agriculture in the industries and societies that wouldn't usually be exposed to the issues at hand.

The self help and diet and cook book industry is massive in both the USA and the UK. We may look at face value like a pair of giggly blondes, but believe me, our agenda goes far beyond just promoting the tryptophan diet plan. On the back of our books success, we plan to promote the interests of the ethical farmer.