Friday, November 5, 2010

Agvocating is Essential

With the recent passing of Prop B it brings up an important issue, that of agvocating. Obviously, telling our stories as farmers, ranchers, and breeders has an incredible impact on the public. Amazingly, HSUS boasted a 91 percent approval rating for Prop B in Missouri this time last year. However, by sharing our stories and educating the public we managed to drop the approval rating to 51.6 percent. This proves our stories count, our voices matter. I will not stand by and let a bunch of urbanites that have never even gardened let alone actually farmed to tell me how to do my job and neither should you. Tell your stories, they matter and people will listen. We proved that with the Prop B results. Out of 114 counties plus one independent city only 13 counties voted for Prop B and guess where all but two of those counties are located: Kansas City and St. Louis.

We have taken for granted that we see, work, and live in an environment that 98 percent of America has nothing to do with. America knows little about farming and ranching and we need to fix that. Not everyone wants to know where there food comes from but everyone needs to know how important agriculture is to our country.

So, how do you start agvocating?

Blogging, social networking, video file sharing seems intimidating at first but it doesn't have to be. First, sign up and don't be afraid to explore the site. Facebook and Twitter are two great sites for connecting with other people that you know or that have similar interests. These are good for sharing tid bits of your thoughts and websites. However, they do limit how much you can type. Facebook limits you to 240 characters where Twitter is only 150. Do not fret, if you have a website you'd like to share and it is too long you can you is an automatic website shortener and it saves all your sites so you only have to enter them once. It is powered by Twitter so you can use the same sign in for both sites.

If you have a lot more to say, I would suggest a blog. Blogger (which is what you are on now) and Word Press are the two most widely used free blog websites. They each have a step-by-step tutorial which will walk you through signing up and getting started. The best blogs post everyday however you do not have to start that way. You can post as often or as little as your schedule allows. With a blog you can not only share your thoughts, you can also share photos, videos, link to news stories or other blogs, etc.

Photo from
If you have a digital video camera or are willing to buy one (flip cameras are easy to use and inexpensive) you can also share your videos on YouTube. Give a farm tour, show an everyday choir that most people don't get to see, let people see your animals, tractors, etc. Keep in mind that most people don't get to see what we do and even though it is mundane to you it is fascinating to others. Get out there and show off your farm!

The best agvocating comes from a combination of all the above. Use the blog and the videos to tell your story. Then, use the networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to promote your videos and blogs and to meet new people.

Don't get overwhelmed. If all the above seems like too much then just pick one and get comfortable with that and then add to it, one by one. Look at other peoples sites, lurk on networking sites to see what others are "tweeting" and "sharing" until you feel comfortable joining the conversation.

The point is to get out there and tell your story. Radical animal rights groups are trying to tell your story for you and make you look bad. It's time we told our own story, it's time we told the truth about farming.

Happy Agvocating!


  1. Here is a big thumbs up great artical

  2. Awesome blog!! There is a lot of power in the social media and people need to understand that the AR agenda is NOT in their best interest!

  3. Great article! You hit all the high points. And you've got a great point - HSUS approval rating dropped off, in no small part to the farmers/ranchers stepping out to tell their stories!

  4. Thanks for the comments. I love hearing from satisfied readers.

    Jo Windmann