Telling Our Story

By MCGA Agvocate Kelsey Gunderson

Agriculture students, industry leaders and farm families are all great advocates for agriculture. Telling the agriculture story is so important and we have to be prepared for questions no matter the place or circumstance we may be in. It is said that the average American is three generations removed from the farm and many do not know where their food comes from.  Myths of factory farms, nutrition and technology within agriculture are some things that people hear and believe. It is understandable because for many this is the only information that they hear about their food and farms. 

As advocates for agriculture we need to tell our story and inform the public about the truth about agriculture. Through organizations like Minnesota Corn Growers, Minnesota Soybean Growers and Farmers Feed US, there are many opportunities to inform the public about these helpful farm organizations and about what farmers are doing to provide the food on our tables.  These organizations represent the industry in many ways, informing consumers through event appearances and social media.

There has been so much concern about our food and how it is being raised that through the National Corn Growers Association and United Soybean Board, a new program called CommonGround has been started. They are women who are excited to tell their agriculture story and want to have a conversation with you about where our food comes from. We need every farmer to be telling their agriculture story; we have much to tell and a great story at that. 

 At the University of Minnesota’s Ag Awareness Day, the Agricultural Education Club brought livestock animals to the middle of the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus. Students and faculty were able to ask questions to agricultural students and industry partners as many were represented there throughout the day. This was a great opportunity to share our message and let others know what we do on the farm. There were many questions on GMO versus organic foods and questions about our farming practices. People believe what they hear and for many what they heard were myths, which is why we host an Ag Awareness Day, to promote the industry and answer questions that many consumers may have.

We encounter people in our everyday lives who have not grown up on a farm, do not know where their food comes from or question genetically modified foods versus organic. We have many chances to explain agriculture and promote the industry we care for. Everyone has a choice in what they want to eat or how they want their food produced, but we need to make sure they have all of the facts before a decision is made. Always being prepared to tell someone our story or inform people about the options is important and you never know when you may be in that position to tell your own agriculture story. 

We need to make an impact and tell the public the facts of agriculture. Our world depends on agriculture and people need to know and support it. Telling our story can make a difference. We see groups broadcasting their own message all over the media and it affects people. Now it is time to do our part.

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