An outsider’s view of agriculture

Watermelon harvest in Stanislaus County, California. © Todd Fitchette

My fascination with agriculture comes from the perspective of an “outsider.”

I am also fascinated by media messages and enjoy communicating messages in which I strongly believe. It’s why I sometimes enjoy the SuperBowl commercials more than the game, and why I desire to have people in America understand at a level deep within their souls the utter importance of American agriculture and why I believe our nation cannot survive as it was founded without it.

To say that we’re constantly bombarded with media messages is an understatement. Unfortunately for some (fortunately for others) those messages come at a price. Advocates for a particular point of view who understand and use the media to their advantage are like the football team with the star quarterback and a roster of go-to guys who can catch and carry the ball  to the end zone with ease.

To the detriment of American agriculture, the rabid animal rights extremists and other such groups (for reasons that escape me) want to completely do away with the level of safe and efficient agricultural production that comfortably feeds Americans and provides food for much of the rest of the world. Their motives have nothing to do with the altruistic intentions of improving the lives of animals that they claim.

In an artfully written blog post, a Missouri hog farmer articulately defends and explains how her family cares for the hogs that become the ham, sausage and bacon that fills the refrigerated cases at our grocery stores and ultimately winds up on our breakfast table (or in that convenient wrapper from the fast food joint we frequent on our way to work).

Not to be critical of the farmer I’ve chosen to highlight (she actually does an excellent job in her blog of spelling out the common practices farmers use and why they’re good for the animal), but agriculture still needs to be more aggressive in its efforts to educate and promote what it does.

I’m not talking about the type of aggression that we’ve seen from the likes of PETA, Occupy Wall Street, folks with the Humane Society (HSUS) and the other groups that have more in common with terrorist organizations than they do groups that try to promote their causes through more civil means.

I am talking about being more like the Missouri hog farmer here in terms of promoting, through various media, what she so skillfully articulated as the reasons her family chooses to manage its hogs the way it does. There’s a reason why they manage their animals the way they do, and a video included in her blog points this out very well. Moreover, there’s a reason why livestock producers and managers do things the way they do, and it’s not because they dislike their animals — on the contrary: a dairy cow, for example, receives way more veterinary care during her lifetime than even the most pampered house pet. That’s a fact!

So here’s a thought… although I think the blogosphere has provided a great outlet for people like Chrischinn and others to explain what it is and why it is they do things the way they do, I would like to see the template Chrischinn created here put into an advertising and media campaign to aggressively promote American agriculture to the 99% who so rely on what the 1% do that without the minority doing what it is they do, the majority will literally starve!

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4 thoughts on “An outsider’s view of agriculture

  1. Pingback: Part 2: A new way of promoting agriculture | Across the Back Fence

  2. Pingback: Part 3: Getting agriculture to step up to the plate | Across the Back Fence

  3. Pingback: Part 4: It takes effort to keep America farming | Across the Back Fence

  4. Pingback: Part 5: The game clock is winding down | Across the Back Fence

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