One of AdFarm’s noblest goals is to ‘be a catalyst for the advancement of agriculture’. That’s an ambitious objective but one we fully embrace.
Our efforts with the California Agricultural Communications Coalition (CACC) is an outstanding example of being fully engaged in working to advance the big picture of farming and farmers.
Agriculture is being assaulted in North America on many fronts. Consumers dislike crop protection products. They dislike GMOs and the incredible promise of biotechnology. They dislike the way they think livestock are treated. They dislike the energy consumed by agricultural production. Ironically, they dislike food crops being used for fuel production, too. They dislike corn sweeteners. They dislike food being transported around the globe to market. And on and on. They have a lot of dislikes.
Why don’t they like all this stuff?
It comes down to a complete disconnect with farmers and where food actually comes from. The symptom of this disconnect is ‘anti’ everything. The cause is lack of understanding.
We believe experience is the shortest path to understanding. In our original discussions with the CACC, we proposed that the solution to the increasingly burdensome regulatory environment in California is to humanize California agriculture and to create a pervasive presence for California farmers. Consumers like and trust farmers. They don’t like or trust agribusiness – at least not what they perceive to be agribusiness.
When farmers tell stories, they are credible, passionate, engaging, earnest and most importantly – authentic. The CACC created and launched their new, highly interactive website at www.knowacaliforniafarmer.com to empower farmers to tell their stories. This is a grassroots effort being done on a shoestring budget by farmers, not on behalf of farmers. By farmers, not on behalf of farmers — that is absolutely critical. That goes back to the whole trust and credibility thing. The content is generated by farmers – AdFarm just created the tool.
Consumers need to re-connect with farmers so they can once again have permission to believe!
They need to believe that their food is safe and wholesome, that it is being produced in a thoughtful and responsible manner and that farmers are truly stewards of the environment for future generations.
This battle will never be won in boardrooms. It will be won on back roads, in barnyards, on ranches and orchards – one conversation at a time.
What do you think can be done to empower farmers to tell their stories and to speak up for their industry and their livelihood?
Kerri-Sue Lang is at the forefront of issues in agriculture that affect how our food is grown and produced. You can reach her directly at Kerri-Sue.Lang@adfarmonline.com