“What does someone who raises cattle look like?”
Adrienne Ivey, a Saskatchewan cattle rancher, stood in front of a TEDx audience in Regina recently and asked this question. Soon after, she openly admitted to some pretty shocking things — like running a corporate farm, using growth implants in cattle, and even using antibiotics. She also shared that’s she’s a mother first, and wouldn’t sell a pound of beef off her 10,000 acre ranch that she wouldn’t feed her own kids.
Opportunities like this to connect directly with customers don’t come up that often, and Ivey handled herself and her message with confidence and elegance. Sincere and unapologetic, Ivey acknowledged that once the audience heard that her ranch have a corporate “big” business structure, many in the audience wouldn’t have a very “nice” picture in their heads of what kind of rancher Ivey is.
But then, as you can see in the video of the talk below, she then asks, “What if … corporate farming isn’t bad business, or bad for the environment, or for you? What if it’s completely different than you have pictured?”
Ivey’s 10,000 acre ranch with its 3,000 head of cattle IS a family farm, run by herself, her husband, and his two parents, she says, and that fact is a very important one she wants customers to know. Ivey and her team deeply value the land, their cattle, and each other, perhaps much more than what the average consumer may realize.
She also shares a deep, dark secret: Ivey, with her passion for farming and ranching with a focus on food safety, animal welfare, and environmental sustainability, is not rare. Cattle ranchers are caring, devoted people, she says, and this conversation of how food is raised and recognizing the people that raise it is the most important conversation the farming industry needs to have with its customers.
Adrienne joined us on RealAg Radio on Tuesday — listen to her conversation with Shaun Haney, here: