Friday, December 10, 2010

More on Advocating Agriculture

Recently, an article in Pork Network's newsletter was brought to my attention regarding how important it is for farmers and ranchers to "open up" to the public. Too often we forget how fortunate we are to be part of this amazing process called farming. However, we must keep in mind that 98 percent of this nation are not connected to agriculture other than what they see, read, or hear in the media or on the Internet. In this day and age of animal rights activists attacking animal ag and consumers' increasing concerns for the environment we need to put ourselves out there in order to help educate the public. They will not understand what we do or how we do it if someone does not take the initiative to educate them.

On that note, here is an agvocating recap:

In a previous post, Agvocating is Essential  and in a Suite101 article, Agvocating: Harvesting Social Media I highlight some of the basic ways to advocate agriculture but I would like you to keep in mind, you do not have to be a full time farmer or farm hundreds of acres to agvocate. You could blog about your neighbors' farm (with their permission, of course). This is not only a great way to learn about farming for yourself but also to get to know your neighbors better. You could blog about your gardening and the local farmer's market. You could keep up on Ag news and post your own commentary about recent headlines. You could even blog about your own questions, concerns, and curiosities about agriculture and then follow up with what you have found out. The blogging possibilities are endless, just use your imagination and start typing.

Videos are an amazing way to agvocate. They can be serious and show specific aspects of farming or...

They can be a bit goofy (maybe even dorky) while still making a point.

Videos are a huge part of agvocating because YouTube gets so many hits and you don't need to be an award winning director to produce a great YouTube video. In fact, it has been my experience that people prefer the rough-around-the-edges approach. Think of how huge reality shows have become and it makes sense, people want real life. You don't have to be doing anything exiting either. Keep in mind the daily chores you find mundane are actually fascinating to the masses because it is all totally new to them. Just film your cows grazing, someone throwing feed to pigs, or milking a cow, just about anything will work. If you don't have a YouTube account they are really easy to start and your information is kept secure, only the info that you allow will be available to others. If you've never uploaded a video and don't know how I'll bet your kids, grand kids, or the neighbor's kid could help you out. You can also leave me a message in the comments and I can try to answer any questions you may have or at least direct you to someone who can answer your questions.

Take a look at the BaconCam Channel for some more video ideas. What do you do to agvocate? What videos would you like to see about farming? Do you have an Ag blog you would like to share? Leave the link in the comments.

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