Can We Actually Communicate The Farm Story To Public?

Chuck Zimmerman

We’ve got a lot of initiatives going to help consumers better understand where their food is coming from. I’ve had several discussions lately with people about this. Topics include inter-organizational coordination, competition for funding, differences in approaches and membership. What do you think about all the different groups trying to reach the non-farm public about farming? The more the merrier? A ZimmPoll we conducted had the largest percentage saying there are too many. We’re hearing a lot of talk about unity in agriculture in the face of increasing urbanization and regulation. I’m just wondering if the proliferation of groups attempting to do what appears on the surface to be the same thing sends a different message. I applaud everyone who is trying to tell agriculture’s story. This is not an easy task. Farming is not an easy thing to explain to those who have never been exposed to it. Forget about the complexities of policy and foreign trade. All right, got that out there. Would be interested in your thoughts.

AFACTI was prompted to post these questions after receiving an announcement today that the American Farmers for the Advancement of Conservation and Technology has joined with the Alliance to Feed the Future. The Alliance was announced during National Ag Day activities. Their goal is to “help tell the story of modern farming from the heart of the family farmer.”

The Alliance currently has 63 members and continues to grow. All sectors of the food value chain have come together in the alliance – including professional societies, commodity groups, farmer organizations, industry and academia. Membership in the Alliance will help multiply the effects of their individual and joint efforts to tell the true and balanced story of modern food production. The Alliance to Feed the Future website is home to an assortment of resources and information regarding modern food production from farm to fork.

It is great to see so much effort being put into telling the farmer’s story. But collectively, what is the budget of all the groups trying to do this? I know I haven’t mentioned others. You probably know who they are. I think that if all the groups trying to reach the consumer could somehow actually pool their funds and create a coordinated campaign they might just reach the budget of a very large extremist group that wants to end production agriculture. Do I sound pessimistic? Probably. But I think all these efforts need to be done. And beside them we need farmers themselves to do what they can. Let’s all “agvocate.” It’s what we can do regardless what our budget is.

Ag Group