Bridging The Gap

February 19, 2011 09:04 AM
 
Bridging The Gap

 

Historically consumers have had a hard time connecting to the farm, and this dis-connect has continued to grow through recent generations. Pam Fretwell and Farm Journal Media are working to change that with Consumer Ag Connection, a daily radio program. Fretwell is the creator and host of the daily show that features individuals across the country working to tell the story of agriculture. Each week the show features a new “agvocate” as a guest interviewed by Fretwell. From school teachers to cattle ranchers, the show defines agriculture through people. 
The show began because Pam Fretwell saw a need for consumers to know more about agriculture.
“One of the biggest subjects of today is how consumers really aren’t acquainted with how the food, fuel and fiber they use every day is produced,” Fretwell says. “That disconnect is starting to have huge ramifications for agriculture, so I felt like there was a real need to tell the story.”
Fretwell set out to “put a face to the farmer” and to tell consumers about life on the farm. Growing up in the city and marrying into agriculture, she knew firsthand how much of farm life is not known in the cities. After gaining her breadth of experience in farming, she realized that she needed to do something to help consumers in town understand the work that goes into production agriculture.
“Farmers are just people,” Fretwell says. “They work very hard and they are passionate about what they do and that is what I set out to capture.”
Consumer Ag Connection hosts many farmers on the radio show but the show doesn’t stop there. The show features anyone involved in agriculture from farmers, to processors, retailers and even consumers.
“It is about connecting to each other,” Fretwell says, “whether we’re a farmer or a consumer.”
The show is educational and often the listeners learn something about agriculture that they didn’t know before.
“I might have one show with a guy who is a cattle farmer talking about what it means to wean calves, or I might talk to a person who works for a very large chemical company who is sustainability minded and knows that we have the ability to sustainably continue to farm,” Fretwell says.
Fretwell often uses social media to find people to be on the show. She believes that farmers have done an exceptional job embracing social media and she often relies on it to connect farmers with consumers.
“I think farmers have embraced the social media platform better than anyone else in their quest to tell their story,” she says.
Fretwell, a 12 year veteran of the farm broadcasting industry, uses her experiences to connect with people across the country and she often uses those connections to find new guests. The show is for anyone seeking to tell the story of agriculture.
“Anyone who is passionate about telling their story and seeks to share their story with others is welcome to contact me to be on the show,” Fretwell says.
Consumer Ag Connection is distributed to over 80 stations in Illinois, Missouri and Iowa. It can be heard daily at www.ConsumerAgRadio.com and you can also find show links on Facebook and Twitter. Consumer Ag Connection is a Farm Journal Media Brand and is housed on AgWeb.com. Contact Pam Fretwell for show information and to share your story today: PFretwell@FarmJournal.com     

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