Peggy Sanders: Confluence Chronicles 4-30-12
We in production agriculture need to take responsibility in educating consumers about where their food comes from and to that end, I will list a few outstanding outlets where you can share your own personal experiences.
Thanks to strong agriculture based media, certainly including the Fence Post, American farmers and ranchers are not taking the adverse publicity and anti-ag biased (and uninformed) stories without challenge. Regarding the proposed US Department of Labor youth in agriculture laws, the Nebraska Farm Bureau is meeting the resistance head on. Their campaign is called, “Let Me Get My Hands Dirty,” and you can tell your own family’s story on their website. Go to http://www.NEFB.org (Nebraska Farm Bureau), scroll down the page to “Let Me Get My Hands Dirty,” click on the link and fill in the spaces. Right there you can tell the world why agriculture is so vital and give your thoughts on youth working in agriculture.
The History Channel, through its program “Modern Marvels,” gives the public overviews of various types of agricultural production. The programs show how products are made and naturally have to include where the basic product comes from. You can follow the production of cheese and ice cream, bread, whiskey, rice, potatoes, soybeans and so many more products from beginning to end. These programs are educational and fun at the same time, and those in agricultural production also have the opportunity to learn about different types of crops, too.
Websites are being used to educate and we need to be sure non-ag producers – our city friends and family primarily – are informed about these good sites such as USFRAonline.org (US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance). Another site where producers and non-producer consumers can have open discussions is http://www.FoodDialogues.com.
A beautiful site is http://www.Facebook.com/Lens.Of.A.Farm.Girl or just Google, Lens of a Farm Girl, and you will be transported to lovely ag photos which photographer (and Illinois farm girl) Erin Ehnle has overlaid with fresh and inspiring words about agriculture and our great way of life. “It takes the energy of 50 leaves to produce one apple,” and “Choose to live a life that matters,” are two of the sayings shown on her photo backgrounds.
An important blog is http://www.AdvocatesForAg.Blogspot.com, which leads to a couple who created their company Advocates for Agriculture. The subhead on their website, http://www.AdvocatesForAg.com reads, “There are good men everywhere. I only wish they had louder voices.” Louis L’Amour. Of course they don’t mean louder by volume, but by being more willing and aggressive to stand up to the miseducated and/or uneducated who manage to get quoted in the media.
Those of us who are in agriculture must also be the voice and social media presence of agriculture. Make no mistake, our way of life is under fire and we need to be actively involved.
Peggy would be interested in hearing about other web and social sites promoting agriculture. Her internet latchstring is out at ThankAFarmer4Food@yahoo.com.