About four years ago, I realized the extremely important role advocacy plays in agriculture and saw the limitless value of telling my story. I’m proud to share the stories about the small role I play in food production while working alongside my father, husband and in-laws. I do this because there are plenty of people out there that daily strive to push consumers towards niche products such as organic beef, cage-free eggs or vegan bacon (which is not really bacon, btw). While I’m all about choice, I don’t like it when we suggest that making one food choice is safer, more sustainable or better than another food choice—especially when it’s not true.
|Inquiring minds want to know when they're going to be fed.....|
While things like the latest Chipotle video may be successful at attracting press, blog hits and consumer interest, the one thing they fall extremely short of achieving is creating constructive conversation about food production and the wholesome goodies on our dinner plates.Whether it’s this latest video or others like it, it reiterates to me the importance of sharing stories about how food is really raised today. I strongly urge all producers to continue to use your voice and tell the real story of farming – right now there are consumers around the nation, and the world, putting their Google skills to the test trying to find out information about how beef, chicken and pork are produced and how livestock are treated. This is a critical component of agriculture – while we may not all agree on the what is the ‘right’ way to do things, we can all agree that no one benefits from denigrating farmers and ranchers other than the marketers and businesses themselves.
Do you have pictures of you or your family caring for your livestock? Put them online with a short story about the pride you have in providing high quality care and producing safe, healthy food. That’s the real story of farming and you should be proud of it.
|When they hear the dinner bell (it's actually a siren) they come runnin'! As they pass by, we make sure everyone is present and accounted for - if not, we ride around the pasture to look for escapees or sick cattle.|
Farmers and ranchers have been sharing the story of agriculture for several years and should continue to do so! Here are some great examples of producers opening up the barn doors to all who wish to view inside.
Even if you aren’t a wizard of words, you can post a picture and short sentence about your daily practices – a la Wordless Wednesday (or in my case, Semi-wordless Wednesday). Again, it is up to you to make sure that American consumers know exactly how their food is produced and that they can be confident in farmers and ranchers to do the right thing.
|Podge is my role model for many things -- horsemanship, cattle care and his dedication to doing the right thing, even when it's not easy, are just a few of his outstanding qualities.|
Are you a supplier to Chipotle, do you raise naturally raised beef or meet the Chipotle specs or know someone who is? PLEASE comment below – I’d love to talk with you and hear your thoughts on this!
Until next time,~ Buzzard ~