A friend posted this on RanchingCountry and got permission for me to repost it here. Great stuff!
A good rant by an extension agent- Ron Torrell of Elko.
Agriculture tends to address highly emotional issues, like food safety and animal welfare, with rational responses based on science. I am finding out science generally does not matter to the public and in many cases not to judges involving cases of natural resource management (case in point wild horse and sage grouse issues). Agriculture needs to strike an emotional chord in order to make a difference. It’s time for agriculture to build trust through regular messages that rely on emotion, not just the cold facts.
A large portion of the general public (who by the way are our consumers) have no other connection to agriculture than the media. These people, our customers, have a presence on Social Media networks like blogs, Face book, and Twitter. It is paramount that Agriculturist (YES YOU) utilize these resources to reach out to our customers, the general public, and tell our stories from an emotional stand point. Do not stand back and figure someone else is going to do it for you. Get err done yourself. Do your part. Get on the stick. If you or your children have the ability, get geared up with your social media skills then get to work. Everyone needs to get involved. It is paramount to our future. If you do not have these skills get the word out in other ways you feel comfortable with. Quit talking and complaining about the disconnect the general public has with agriculture and do something about it. Do your part and get involved. Do not think that just because you pay your dues to an agriculture association of your choice that you are doing your part.
I for one am sick and tired of agriculture getting falsely kicked around. At the end of the great depression food and fiber production (agriculture) was held to the highest. Do you figure that had something to do with a hungry yet tough society versus a spoiled, soft and well fed one?