Feb 25, 2010

What if I didn't know?

I read a great editorialin the High Plains Journal yesterday. It's a topic we all need to be reminded of over and over again as we work as advocates of agriculture. Here's a couple excerpts from Holly Martin's writing:

"What if I didn't know what it is like to be a farmer or rancher? What if I honestly didn't understand?

What if I didn't know what it is like to bring in the harvest? What if I didn't know what it is like to see a herd of white-tailed deer grazing green wheat in the frosty morning air? What if I didn't know what it is like to see a hillside of newborn calves romping in the springtime sun?

"What if I didn't know those things--the good and the bad, the positive and the negative, the realities of what it takes to raise food? If I didn't know, I might think it is easy. I might not know how much financial risk and stress a farmer endures. I might not know the pride and satisfaction of feeding our country and the world through the labors of my hands.

"And chances are, consumers don't know these things. It doesn't make them wrong or ignorant. It just makes them uniformed."

It's easy to get frustrated with the mounds of misinformation that surrounds agriculture. It's easy to watch our industry take punch after punch and say, "Those people are stupid. They just don't get it, and they are wrong," then go about our ways. The point is -- they DON'T get it, and if we want them to, we have to help.

Don't let the extremist animal rights groups trick you in to thinking they are the majority. Most Americans are just misiformed and want to learn more about the food they eat. They might have heard mixed messages from different media sources and just don't know what or who to believe.

Don't scoff at their questions or act like they are "stupid" for listening to people like Katie Couric, Oprah or Jonathan Safran's opinions and taking them as truth. Put yourself in the shoes of people who don't know what it's like to grow up on a farm or ranch and have that personal relationship with animals and the land we care for.

The agriculture community has gotten better and better at speaking its mind recently, as exemplified by the recent [yellow tail] / Yellow FAIL ordeal. Check out http://humanewatch.org/ to find more ways you can speak out against HSUS and stand up for agriculture.

1 comment:

  1. I'm doing some good, old fashioned stalking right now. Yup, that's right, I'm stalking you and it's all in the name of research for my blog at work. Today, my job rocks! So I can't believe no one has commented on this post. It's great and so true and I'm putting it in my files of "advocacy" research. So there.