16 November 2009 - Telling Agriculture's Story

A week ago, I asked you to offer your thoughts and suggestions on how or who should tell agriculture's story to the consuming public in response to the unfounded charges from the Humane Society of the United States, PETA and Time magazine. And you did. Thank you for your response and I'm going to share some of your ideas this week and next.

Jerry in Ohio said "To reach the general population and fight HSUS misinformation I suggest that the key word is ‘WE'. The thing that struck me in the Ohio effort for State Issue #2 was the widespread support in the ag community. I personally worked with many groups across the spectrum of agriculture. For example, I had a sit-down meeting with a leading Amish Bishop to get support from their community and they registered more than 1,200 new Amish voters. My point is that our efforts nationally will not be successful until all segments of agriculture agree to work together to fight this menace. We have to learn to get over our petty differences and build a unified front as we did in Ohio, or we will lose this battle."

Ricky in North Carolina suggested some possible spokespersons from the country music world as well as Hollywood... "Garth Brooks, Trace Adkins, Reba McIntire, Tommy Lee Jones and Tom Selleck."

And Lee from Virginia started by saying he is not a farmer and lives within 15 miles of the White House but believes in the good of agriculture and offered this . . . "Willy Sutton, the famous bank robber, was once asked why he robbed banks and he answered ‘because that's where the money is'. Farmers need to take their message to where the votes are, to the big cities. That won't be easy. Washington, Philadelphia, New York and all the other big cities are filled with people who would like to take a swipe at agriculture for everything from its animal handling practices to genetically modified food. The ag community can't be deterred by that. They have to fight their way into the school career programs and any other forum where agriculture has an interest. Agriculture also needs to seek out interest groups with similar concerns to help it work in the cities."

And finally Ron, who said "All the print ads in the world will not help. We need live people telling the truth on TV. How about Peyton Manning or Brett Favre? There must be a reason so many companies use them as spokesmen."

Again, thank you for letting me share your thoughts on...

Samuelson Sez.