According to a research study conducted by the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) in 2009, 42 percent of Americans say they believe farmers care more about profits than quality. Although this percentage represents less than half of Americans, this number is still astonishingly high and almost half. 42 percent!
Recently, the ag industry has reminded consumers that farmers are businessmen who farm because they love it, but also farm to support their families. Farms are businesses that need to make a profit if they are to continue to stay in operation. And because Americans need food, America needs farmers to stay in business.
Although this profitability message is important, it’s missing an important secondary message, as is proof by the NCGA study: To be profitable, farmers and ranchers need to produce quality.
This principle has been in practice for several decades. Grain growers receive dockages for elevated mycotoxin levels and foreign material. In fact, if the grain quality (of corn, soybeans, wheat, anything used in food or feed production) is too poor, whole loads of product can become unmarketable.
Same goes for produce. Poor-quality produce is never picked for purchase, whether at a farm market or supermarket. And also for meat. Higher quality meat becomes steaks and roasts, which pays premiums over meat used for hamburger.
So to all my fellow agvocates, remember to spread this message. Farmers DO care about quality because it means profit.
Where do you see consumers mis-judging food quality?
With deep roots on her family farm and a passion for creating a positive community of agriculture, Heather is making connections and executing sound PR strategy for AdFarm clients every day. She can be reached directly at Heather.Koehler@adfarmonline.com or @hlkoehler
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