Farmers Shouldn't be "Public Relations Experts" on Food Production

March 30, 2017 11:38 AM

Some members of the agriculture community have been using their voices to tell the farm-to-fork narrative, but more voices are always needed.

For those in agriculture, it’s important to discuss the importance of food production coupled with evolving technology to create a safe product because the average American is at least three generations removed from a farm.

Charlie Arnot, CEO of the Center for Food Integrity (CFI), told AgriTalk host Mike Adams that according to CFI’s latest research, 80 percent of consumers wanted to learn more about how food is produced and where it comes from. He said information that’s found on the internet might not be fact-based, science-based, or come from farmers.

“We are at an interesting crossroads where you find consumers increasingly skeptical about what’s happening in food production and yet they’re really interested in learning more,” said Arnot.

He said it’s “crucial” to have farmers and ranchers involved and engaged in the conversation.

“Nobody in agriculture chose to get into agriculture or farming because they wanted to be experts in public relations,” said Arnot.

To some, it seems as though less technology in farming is better. Arnot said it’s important not to bash someone else’s style of production, whether that be through organic or conventional, but not to validate misinformation.

“The commitment of America’s farmers to do what’s right is as solid today as it’s ever been,” he said.

Listen how Arnot explains how to share and respect someone else’s position on ag and how to discuss food production in a meaningful way on AgriTalk above.

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Spell Check

Palmer, NE
4/10/2017 03:58 PM

  Thank you for addressing the issue about not bashing different means of ag production. I feel the general public has been misinformed by nontraditional sectors and special interest groups, i.e., backyard farmers, sustainable, organic. The "big is bad" has been generated by the special interest groups against conventional farming because they want the market share . They have been working on this behind out backs - to the point that this way of thinking is ingrained in the urban consumers minds. This is a negative for the entire agricultural industry and has effected our international markets as well. Now the task at hand is to ensure our consumer that our food is safe, wholesome and nutritional, regardless of whether it's conventionally raised or not. Who is taking on that task? Who's responsibility is it to invest their time and energy in this? I agree that we need more advocates and more voices to improve consumer confidence.