This past week some of you may have seen the news coming from our home state of South Dakota about how farmers and ranchers were upset with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade float that the state of South Dakota sponsors. The state tourism department had put out a press release announcing Joan Jett was going to be on the float this year.
For those of you who aren’t aware, much like the SD Department of Tourism, Joan Jett is a a card carrying PETA member. She has been featured in ads supporting meatless Monday’s and claims ranchers abuse their livestock, destroy the environment and poison people with the food we produce. Tourism is a big part of our state’s economy-the second largest industry in our state, agriculture.
This set our wheels to turning. First, a call was made to the Department of Tourism to talk to someone about this decision. It’s important to find the source of the information, we don’t want to hang people out to dry. We want to know the reason behind the decision and get the accurate information out. We always encourage the people we work with to find the source and not just go off on a witch hunt.
Second, we posted the information on our personal Facebook page. We felt this was a local issue and didn’t release it to everyone. We encouraged our friends to also contact the Tourism department. We didn’t want anyone fired, we wanted to make sure people understand why this has a negative impact on our number ONE industry in the state. Our tax payer dollars were going to support someone who is actively trying to stop what our family does.
Some within agriculture were upset that we gained the attention to this issue, because it hit all the major news sources including CNN, MSN and FoxNews plus some entertainment channels. But that is what agriculture has been doing for years, just letting PETA say what they say about us and not doing anything. That approach really hasn’t worked well for us has it?
In the end we got it changed, but it’s because people came together and shared their voice. So share your voice and make positive change.