Guest Blog Post: Time for Some Elbow Grease…

September 17, 2010 at 9:31 am Leave a comment

From Lori Deyoe:

I was asked what a non food producing advocate could do for agriculture.  Very good question.  I always assumed I was preaching to the choir, so to speak, and assumed people had trade associations to turn to.  So here is my advice to anyone who reads this and wants to fight for agriculture’s (as we know it) existence…

1. Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington

Open a conversation between your Congress people at both the state and national level.  This is the most important because as this is being written, both the FDA and EPA are considering or already have measures in place restricting agricultural production.  The state level is also important because Wayne Pacelle, the President of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) just sold his soul to the devil (again) for a seat on Ohio States Livestock and Care Standards Board.  This deal also gives HSUS the right to, “jointly fund independent research projects and studies to identify best practices and to work for the highest farm animal care and welfare standards.” (i.e. don’t eat them.)  At face value, Ohio agriculture will never be the same again.

2.  Pick your Poison…I mean Passion!!!!

There are trade associations, both nationally and on the state level, for all agricultural commodities.  Contact them for information on events you may help with or information you can use in writing your letter to Washington.  Some also have programs to complete to help educate you in your cause.  For example, I am in the process of completing my MBA, Masters of Beef Advocacy, through the National Cattleman’s Beef Association.  This program gives you a “tool box” full of tools to help debunk myths, educate consumers, and confront anti-agriculture propaganda.  My advice is contact the trade association of the commodity that is closest to your heart.

3.  Dear John

Write a letter to the editor.  This is most important when you see articles in periodicals like Time Magazine or on the internet, or articles written by authors such as Brian Walsh, Michael Pollen, or Eric Schlosser.  These sources of information have been proven to be full of half truths and misconceptions about agriculture.  Write a comment at the end of an internet article, a letter to the editor to the mag, or to the publisher of the authors mentioned above.  If you are a consumer it would be shooting star awesome if you wrote in support and might even be able to send a different message than those in the industry! Thank you ahead of time!

4.  Be Social

Use your social media memberships in support of ag.  Do you Twitter or Facebook?  Use those platforms to voice your vote for agriculture.  About a year ago, every day for five days I posted a saying about beef.  For example, “Eat Beef.  The west wasn’t won on salad!”  By the end of the five days, people were commenting on how I liked beef and how funny some of my sayings were.  It started a conversation!  I’ve also forwarded on interesting articles on my facebook account, and linked yummy recipes, and changed my profile pic to promote beef.  These are all very quick, easy, and effective things to do.  Some people post You Tube videos about their love for ag.  It is awesome they do this and I advise if you have time to do so!

5.  Do you have an opinion?

Just visit with people.  At the grocery store is an awesome opportunity to say hey, last time I picked up a rib eye and they were awesome!  What better way to show where food comes from or who eats it, than to engage a conversation?  And I did say conversation, not debate.  Be informative, not combative.  You never know who is eaves dropping on your conversation!!!

Here is just five ways to help draw people into agriculture.  I hope this gives some a start, some a second tier of information, and some a refresher on how to get the good word of agriculture out.  I am sure there is more, and if you have a different way, please comment.

Growing up, I helped clean my Grandmother’s house for a couple of extra bucks when I needed it.  She would always say, “Lori, to do it right, you’ve got to put some elbow grease into it!”  I think the same applies in ag…if you put at little elbow grease in advocating for agriculture, you’ll see results!

The opinions expressed in the above post represent the thoughts and feelings of the blogger, and not necessarily NYFEA as a whole.



Entry filed under: Featured Farmers, Guest Bloggers.

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