Part 2: A new way of promoting agriculture

Newspaper printing office of The Custer Leader

Newspaper printing office of The Custer Leader (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m finding that the more I surf the blogosphere the more I come across agriculturally-related writing, and that’s a good thing… right?

Credit technology with the ability now for people to share thoughts, stories, news and opinion to a wide audience without the need to own a printing press or television network. Still, it’s somewhat frustrating in a sense that with all that technology has provided in terms of being able to share thought, it seems that people are still largely ignorant of the basics here in America.

One such example I recently stumbled upon while perusing the World Wide Web is a blog called The Beef Jar. In a recent series of posts, author Megan Brown shares her frustrations over the political and philosophical tendencies of a newspaper called the Chico News & Review in Chico, California.

Suffice to say, the modern ranch girl, as the author describes herself, is notably frustrated with the negative portrait that the CN&R paints of agriculture, particularly in Northern California where Brown resides. Nevertheless, she keeps trying, and that’s a large part of the battle.

My familiarity with the publication not only stems from my days as a student at CSU Chico, but as an intern in the photography department at the newspaper. I learned much under the lead photographer, who was as personable as he was skilled when it comes to photography; but I knew going in, as I do today, that the politics of the CN&R is not shared by the majority of the farmers and ranchers who have grown California agriculture into a multi-billion industry that powers much of the state’s economy while it helps feed the world.

I intend to use blogs like The Beef Jar and other ag blogs I follow as a stepping stone of sorts towards a much larger discussion about some simple tenets of agriculture. Prompted by the ideas of others and some unspoken ideas ruminating in my brain, I want to open up a discussion of how farmers and ranchers (in my own opinion) may need to consider some radical ideas different than the programs and efforts they currently employ to educate the public. I don’t merely want to fill people’s minds with intriguing thoughts, I want to change the hearts and minds of agriculture’s consumers from ambivalent and gullible to informed and proactive.

I truly hope you’ll join me in this discussion that I hope will bear much fruit in my attempt to promote American agriculture and propel it’s positive image throughout our culture.

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