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RSS By: Kevin Spafford, Legacy Project

Kevin Spafford is Farm Journal’s succession planning expert for the Farm Journal Legacy Project.  He hosts the nationally-televised ‘Leave a Legacy’ TV, facilitates an ongoing series of workshops for farm families across the U.S., and is the author of Legacy by Design: Succession Planning for Agribusiness Owners.

It Should Be Obvious, But It Isn't

Feb 22, 2011

iStock A Barn with a View CompressedFrom Legacy Moment eNewsletter (02/18/2011)
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Recently, I was reviewing “Agriculture’s Strategic Role in Feeding and Fueling a Growing World,” a 2008 report from the Farm Foundation. It states, “Public understanding of agriculture has changed significantly over the last half century. The segment of the population engaged in agriculture has dwindled so that farm households now represent only a small share of all households in the United States. At the same time, many consumers are increasingly concerned about how their food is produced. Some of these concerns are related to food safety, while others reflect such ethical concerns as labor standards and animal treatment.”
No wonder we have problems with public perception. There is only a small fraction of the population engaged in agriculture. What if the public knew what we know? Specifically:
• 98% of the farms in America are family-owned and operated.
• 82% of all food production comes from family farms.
• 16.5 million people work in the industry.
The report goes on to say, “Agricultural producers sometimes struggle to understand public attitudes about these concerns.” Can’t we, as an industry, demonstrate that family farmers:
• efficiently produce a safe, reliable, clean food supply?
• are good stewards of our natural resources?
• remain committed to the values, work ethic and lifestyle that made this country great?
News & Resources for You
2011 Legacy Project Workshops have begun! They are scheduled for Ames, Iowa on Feb. 22; Grand Island, Neb. on Feb. 25; Madison, Wis. on March 14; Austin, Minn. on March 16 and Sioux Falls on March 17.
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