To me, it carries the same connotation as 'educate'. We don't need to 'educate' consumers, we need to engage, interact, talk to - anything but educate. And now I feel 'consumer' has joined the group of words that make me cringe when I hear them used during agvocate-speak. I don't even like to hear myself say it because I'm sure it inadvertently comes out as demeaning or degrading.
"I am a producer and you are a consumer - allow me to impress you with my agriculture knowledge." Bleh. If I was a 'consumer', I'd smack me.
Do I have a solution? No. I don't get paid to find solutions. Actually, I don't get paid at all. Anyhow, I'm not the only ag blogger/speaker/representative who feels this way. I've spoken with a few others who recognize the problem, but like me don't really have a solution.
What do you think aggies? Anyone else feel this way? What are your thoughts? I feel we could eventually alienate our employers i.e. 'consumers', to the point that they don't want to hear what we have to say. At that point, they'll turn to other sources for ag and food info - Mark Bittman, Oprah, Kathy Freston, Wayne Pacelle, Ingrid Newkirk; folks who will likely not represent ag truthfully or positively.
For those of you reading this who aren't agvocates, producers etc - what do you think? Am I just imagining that using the word 'consumer' in this setting comes across as hoity-toity? Maybe so - actually, I hope so.
Would love to hear some feedback on this. And since Google images didn't have an overly impressive selection of photos for this topic here is a picture of the wheat fields near my house that are nearly completely turned.
Amber waves of grain
Picture from my Instagram feed (@brandibuzzard)
Until next time,