We’d be lying if we said occasionally getting into a fight with activists isn’t fun and entertaining. But it is also exhausting and can make you look like a fool.

On Episode 023 of the Agriculture Proud Podcast, Ryan Goodman and Carrie Mess continue the Over A Beer series talking about hot topics in agriculture. This week’s topic is activists we encounter and how to handle the situation.


Ryan and Carrie both have some experience dealing with hateful comments online. Whether it be writing about controversial topics on CNN or encountering a coordinated vegan attack, these experiences have taught a few lessons about handling the situation.

How do we define activism? Are agriculture advocates activists?

While fighting vegan or animal rights activists online may feel good, that is not agriculture advocacy. Other people can see crazy too, so sometimes it is best to ignore the people on extremes that will never change their point of view. We should spend more time worrying about those in the movable middle who have honest questions.

When you do find yourself being the target of a hateful activist, it is OK to take the high road. It doesn’t make you a smaller person to back away from a conversation or delete hateful comments. And understand everyone isn’t an activist, sometimes people have genuine questions or concerns.

When you do respond…

  • Comment for the benefit of the audience watching.
  • Spend twice as much time sharing your story as you do fighting.
  • Take a look at the profile of who is on the other end of the conversation
  • Ask questions to better understand the other person’s frame of reference
  • Spend twice as much time listening as you do responding
  • Consider what you say from the perspective of those outside of agriculture

Let us know what you think about activism online and how to handle these situations. Or feel free to ask us any questions.

Thanks to our sponsors (if we had sponsors) – Spotted Cow Beer from New Glarus Brewing for the hydration and to Crawfish Junction for the location for the discussion.

Be sure to hop on over to Carrie’s Blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to connect with her. If you’re interested in helping your business learn more about involving social advocates in your outreach and marketing strategies, or if you’re an advocate looking to get involved, check out GROW Influencer Group.

I hope you enjoy this episode of the Agriculture Proud podcast. Check out all my episodes at BeefRunner.com/podcast.

Like what you see here? Sign up for my newsletter to be notified of future stories and weekly headlines. Click here to sign up.

Agriculture Proud Podcast