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Why Agvocacy? How and why to get your start!

If you’re passionate about agriculture and love to talk…you’re in luck! There’s a perfect way for you to marry these two sides of you together. In fact, we need you to put them together. In case you didn’t notice, agriculture is in pretty dire need of advocates. (As we like to say, agvocates)

Here are some stats from a 2011 consumer survey in case you needed further convincing:

  • 72 percent of consumers know nothing or very little about farming or ranching

  • 69 percent of consumers think about food production at least somewhat often

  • 70 percent say purchase decisions are affected by how food is grown and raised, with three-quarters (72 percent) of Americans saying they think about this topic while purchasing groceries

  • 42 percent or two-in-five Americans say the way that food is grown and raised has improved in the last 10 years, while a slightly smaller group say it has worsened (37 percent)

    • Those who say the way that food is grown and raised has improved cite food safety (22 percent) and food quality (17 percent), whereas respondents who said the way food is grown and raised has worsened also cite food safety (21 percent) and food quality (21 percent)
  • Of all the aspects of how food is grown and raised, Americans are most satisfied with the availability of healthy foods (73 percent) and food safety standards  (66 percent)

  • One in five consumers who say food production has worsened in the last 10 years cite environmental impact as the top area of demise

  • 79 percent of consumers say producing healthy choices for all consumers is very important for farmers and ranchers to consider when planning farming and ranching practicesConsumers also were asked to identify the top five topics they want more information about; responses included:

    1. How chemicals are used in farming/ranching
    2. How pesticides are used in farming/ranching
    3. Food safety standards
    4. Effect of government regulations on farming/ranching
    5. How antibiotics are used and genetic engineering in crops

Source

 

The best part is being part of the solution is simple. You don’t need to go out and start a whole blog and a separate account on all social media platforms like some of the crazies. 🙂 Shining a positive light on agriculture is easy to do on your own personal profile or in the comment sections. If you’re a college student, a great way to get started is participation in the Animal Agriculture Alliance’s annual College Aggies Online competition. I recommend this 10/10 for any ag student that wants to get their feet wet in online advocacy. In fact, it was my utmost honor to be featured by CAO and detail my experiences for social media promotion. CAO is a structured competition in which teams and individuals are assigned a topic each week. (Topics include different animal species and industries, crops, and sustainability) Each week there is a webinar given by an industry professional on the topic with lots of great tips and information. You also have a specific assignment and are challenged to create a social media post on all the major platforms. At the end of it points from each activity are totaled together to determine the official placing.

I should mention, this event makes a great talking point for job interviews. Plus, it leaves you with lots of great skills you can bring to your cyberspace endeavors whether its engaging in discussing, promoting your own business, or answering questions and resolving misinformation.

 

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