In a generic sense, that’s an easy question to answer – we all need food, clothes, energy, and a myriad of other products agriculture provides. It becomes more complicated in today’s sensationalized society driven by the misinformed. The “cause” of agriculture matters not only because of the products provided for society, but because of the people involved from the farm gate to the consumer plate. Those people have been constantly attacked by anti-agriculture activist groups, including HSUS, Farm Sanctuary, PETA, ALF, ELF, Greenpeace, PCRM, et al.
It’s the faces behind the food plate that have inspired this blog. As a professional speaker, I have the privilege of working with an array of people across the agrifood system. This interaction gives me firsthand knowledge of the overwhelming amount of misinformation working against the science, business, and technology of feeding the world. The clients I work with provide insight on how misinformation has impacted their part of the agrifood business and many colleagues send links with yet another detractor on a daily basis. The goal is for this blog to serve as a collection and distribution point of misinformation and to help get the word out to our industry about their role in “championing the cause of agriculture.”
My hope is that a blog filled with resources, commentary, and research will help agriculturists explain why our cause matters. 98.5% of farms are still family owned and farming is one of the most highly respected occupations in the U.S. According to an AFBF study, 75% of consumers say that agriculture does only a fair or poor job in communicating about our business. We in agriculture can place the blame at the feet of the consumer who is likely 2-3 generations removed from the farm OR we can take a look in the mirror and realize times have changed. Those changes are not all about business shifts in the production, processing and selling of food; the changes have to also include our industry’s desire to reach out to the people who are purchasing our products. They want to hear from us and agriculture deserves to have our side of the story told!
You’ll have to let me know if this blog provides you with useful information or not – and feel free to e-mail relevant information that you think should be included. Please just keep in mind that my travel schedule may result in sporadic postings, but I will continue to share through a blog as long as it’s useful. As I frequently say in my keynotes and workshops, I don’t care if you raise 5000 acres of beans, own a feedlot, work for an ag input supplier, or farm small acreage – I simply care that you stand up and champion agriculture!