It has often been said that actions speak louder than words and as the wise one Ben Franklin once said, “Nothing preaches better than the act.” There are not many times that I log on the the web or turn on the evening news and do not see a story about food or agriculture production. More often than not, the story usually provokes a response in my mind. It may be positive, or it may be negative. Either way it is a response. How many times do I jot down that response on paper and reply to the news story? Usually the answer is NO.
We in agriculture need to take a proactive stance to our support of modern food production. When was the last time you sent a letter to a newspaper editor or emailed a response to a news reporter? Was the response received positive, negative or neutral? Some times we may not even receive a direct response to our actions, but I keep in mind the “domino effect.” Every action has a reaction, even if it is not immediately seen.
Even better than a written response, become visual in your community. Attend community events and share the good news about agriculture production. Many of us attend county fairs where thousands of Americans will pass through exhibit halls and show barns to see the crops and livestock. WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY PEOPLE! If people are passing through the agriculture exhibits, they are showing an interest in agriculture. Become vocal. Be visual. Hang educational banners in the livestock exhibits with Agfacts related to the species and the food and fiber products produced. Become interactive with school groups passing through the exhibits. No one has to be a professional to use a marker and poster board. Print off a few pictures of your family at work caring for the livestock. Ask if they have any questions about the crops or animals they are viewing. This is a great opportunity to advocate agriculture to your community.
I challenge you this week to respond to a news story that is related to agriculture or food production. Praise the reporter to being informed. Politely correct misinformation that may be reported. Include a contact for someone who is knowledgeable in the specific area of agriculture. The only bad response, is no response at all. You may be surprised at the response, or you may see no immediate response at all.
Think about it. Act upon it. Share with others why you are Agriculture Proud!