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.