The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) recently completed an extensive research project that dug into consumer perceptions about sustainability, and the findings may help producers continue to break through communication barriers and effectively get their story out to the increasingly disconnected consuming public.
Paul Spooner, Manager of Affiliate and Ag Communications for USFRA, sat down with AgWired’s Jamie Johansen at the 2016 World Pork Expo to discuss some of the research findings and highlight the plans in store to help producers use the knowledge in their own communication efforts.
“Sometimes it’s hard to pin down what sustainability actually means to consumers, so we wanted to find those key messages that really resonate with people,” said Spooner. “What we found is that eight out of ten consumers associate sustainability with four key areas: air, water, soil, and habitat, so we’re communicating that to farmers and asking them to include those factors into their narrative and make sure to talk about how they’re working to improve their operation in those areas.”
USFRA has several events planned for the summer to help share their recent sustainability research with producers, and will offer workshops to help teach producers different, effective ways to apply the information found in their research to create productive, positive dialogue about the industry.
“Just tell your story. A lot of consumers today are really far removed from farming and ranching and if you can just tell your story and share some examples, it really does resonate with consumers,” said Spooner. “Organizations like USFRA and other checkoff programs can work to help really amplify your story, so working closely with the organizations that you’re a part of can make a huge difference.”
More information on this research, as well as USFRA’s other existing projects and campaigns, can be found online here.
Listen to Jamie’s full interview with Paul here: Interview with Paul Spooner, USFRA
View and download photos from the event here:2016 World Pork Expo Photo Album