Life is a journey... a crazy, wonderful journey!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

AGvocacy is About Participating

University of Arizona students getting ready to start a day of AGvocating with Old Main, the oldest building on campus, looking on in the background. 

Today was a truly amazing day! It marked the second I Love Farmers/ WTF Day which brought together students from across the country in a collective effort to share our agriculture stories and help fellow students understand why they are neither naked nor hungry. I was lucky enough to help these amazing students coordinate the efforts on the University of Arizona mall. This enthusiastic group of young people prepared, organized and participated in the event and reached over five hundred of their peers in a short span of three hours. This day inspired me to put into words, something I've recently started to fully understand; The incredible importance of sharing the story about where our food and fiber comes from.

Not to go into too much detail, but I have a very limited agriculture background. I was raised in the middle of a good sized city but spent the majority of my time at a local horse training facility. My understanding and passion for the cattle community and agriculture in general really flourished while studying Animal Science at the University of Arizona. As an undergraduate, I was exposed to such great agvocacy groups like the Arizona Cowbelles and the Arizona Beef Council, but somehow missed the true importance of this segment of the cattle community. I had a love for the cattle community that I simply assumed, and we all know what they say about someone who assumes, everyone else shared. I was wrong.  After a few events on the job with the Beef Council and a couple frustrating and defensive questions from worried consumers it started to sink in; the average consumer wants to trust America's farmers and ranchers, but doesn't know where to find a trusted source of information. 

How do we fix that problem? I know it's never as easy as a one word answer, but I think a huge part of sharing our story, along with educating ourselves on how to interact in a calm and open manner, is participating. The students today, showed up and participated. Participated and helped to educate over five hundred people! They were only at this event for three hours. Think about how many people we could reach if everyone took three hours to talk to consumers.

You are an expert in your field because you live and breathe it every day. You have a drive and a passion to provide a great product. Get out there and tell other people about it! There are great organizations in every state, such as your Beef Councils and Farm Bureaus, who set up events with consumers on a regular basis. Get in contact with these groups and go participate. Be the consumers source of trusted information!


Post a Comment