While Americans love farmers and ranchers, research has shown that many people are concerned with the way farmers and ranchers produce food, most of which they believe comes from what they call ‘big ag.’ In an effort to combat this misinformation, many farmers (maybe even you) are taking more time to share stories and information on the truth about today’s farming.
So, it’s important to address the topics that consumers care about the most. Below are a few tips developed from research conducted by the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA).
- Focus on the ways you’re committed to continually improve your operation.
- Focus on demonstrating transparency. Consumers want more information about where their food comes from – and they are getting it everywhere, including in restaurants, at points of sale, on products, along with many unreliable sources. When they don’t get information, though, they believe it’s because farmers and ranchers have something to hide.
When it comes to:
- Sustainability – Talk about how you recycle, reuse resources and minimize waste.
- Biotech seeds – Use information on biotech’s potential to improve nutrition.
- Animal care – Explain the reasons why animals are often kept indoors.
- Antibiotics – Acknowledge concerns about antibiotic use in farm animals and give examples of practices you use on your farm to prevent the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
- Hormone and growth promotants – Tell people about how you administer hormones under the strict guidance of veterinarians and animal nutritionists.
- Crop protection – Discuss the most precise use of any crop-protection method and share observations about the consequences of not using crop protection at all.
For more information on ways that you can help share agriculture knowledge, visit USFRA’s website at www.FoodDialogues.com.