Make the most of #farmerlove

We are in a battle.

It may not seem all that bad right now as our combines roll and livestock gets sold. Sure, we hear talk about hormones and GMOs and animal treatment and all of that other stuff. But people keep lining up at the grocery store and buying food. After all, they need to.

But there is more at work than a simple transaction at the check-out. Forces continue to fight what agriculture is proud to do everyday, and that is produce safe, nutritious, high-quality food. The same food we eat, that our family eats, that our neighbours eat. Those forces each have different agendas. Some would like us to not eat meat. Some would like us to not even eat dairy or eggs. Others would prefer if new technology didn’t play a role in feeding us more efficiently. Some would  prefer we forget about global hunger and instead worry about small vegetable patches off of city high-rises. And all of them think they know what is best for the consumer. Instead of the consumer knowing what is best for the consumer. In fact they like to misconstrue, and sensationalize, and outright lie. They figure that way people will listen.

For a while now we’ve all shaken our heads and said ‘well it isn’t true,’ so no consumer will listen, and no politician will change the rules.

Unfortunately if you say a lot of scary things that people are afraid of, even if they aren’t true, they start believing.

And that belief is starting to get those forces results. Results that are not good for anyone but their own well-endowed charity accounts.

I say it is time to act. We may be late to the game, but better late than never.

Our advantage?

People trust farmers. Why wouldn’t they? We are nice, even if we usually dress a little funny in our overalls. We have happy cows and lush fields of corn. We work hard. We work often. We don’t stop until the bin is full, so their belly can be full.

It is time to take that trust and start talking. Not about our yields or our pick-ups (even though they are all very nice).

It is time to talk about what we do. How we do it. Why we do it. Because as we know, we do it for them.

It is time to make a video, or send a tweet, or share a great story on Facebook.

It is time to head to a local food show, or wine tasting, or seniors centre, or public school.

It is time to simply talk.

And to take advantage of the #FarmerLove around us.

Please join in for my sake, for your sake, for my daughter’s sake, and most importantly for our consumers’ sake.

Everyone wants to know what they are eating. So let’s tell them.

This editorial was originally posted on Andrew’s blog at http://www.thefreshair.ca

 

Andrew Campbell

Andrew is a dairy farmer in southern Ontario who also specializes in helping farmers learn about social media and advocacy. Once broadcasting farm news reports on the radio, he still likes to keep a close eye on news and issues relating to agriculture. Andrew is the owner of Fresh Air Media (http://www.thefreshair.ca), has a mild addiction to Twitter and believes the Brier & Scotties are the most important sporting events in the country. @FreshAirFarmer

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