We’re all aware. We are living through a time when public perception of the Agriculture industry isn’t exactly positive. To many, agriculture is made up of large, factory farms whose owners are insensitive to the health of our earth and its population. We are fighting an uphill battle. But winning back the hearts of Americans is important to our industry.
Farmers are now a minority group that represents only about 1.5% of the U.S. population. That means, the average American lacks an understanding of the agriculture industry in general and the important role it plays in all of our lives.
We need to fight to make sure that agriculture is accurately represented. We need a voice in the conversation. With 98.5% of people not being from a farm family, very few people actually understand where their food comes from. Ignorance can be dangerous.
Don’t let misinformation win. Don’t let agriculture be portrayed incorrectly and unfairly. Be a strong voice.
Where to start:
- Work with students to introduce agriculture at a young age – Whether this is through your local FFA chapter or a community group, there are many ways to do this. Educating the younger generation about agriculture will shape a better tomorrow.
- Use Social media – Use social media as a platform to connect with the non-Ag community and have conversations about agriculture. Share pictures or stories from your farm. These are all ways to spark potential dialogue.
- Be willing to have that conversation. You will inevitably overhear people around you talk about something they heard or saw about Ag that is misinformation. It may not always be comfortable but don’t be afraid to speak up and correct them, respectfully, not defensively.