"Somebody’s gotta do something!" How many times have you had that thought when you’ve seen yet another distorted report slamming today’s production agriculture?
Our agricultural production system is truly a shining miracle of today’s world. As Americans we enjoy the lowest cost food, efficiently produced and as safe as any in the world, and safer than at any period of time in mankind’s history. Yet for all this achievement, our modern agriculture production systems - like Rodney Dangerfield - “don’t get no respect!” How do we get our story out…how can we reach the public demonstrating the many and significant benefits today’s agriculture brings to people’s daily lives?
U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance
Over a year ago, several agriculture groups began discussion on this issue, culminating last fall when more than 20 organizations, including the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, formed the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA). The formation of USFRA is unprecedented in that virtually all aspects of production agriculture have come together to work toward a common goal. Representatives from the poultry, beef, pork, soybean, corn, wheat, sugar, produce, sheep, rice, peanut and other commodity industries recognized the common “knowledge” thread that connects those involved in today’s production agriculture. That thread is that it is today’s technology that is feeding the world, and we need to enhance confidence in that technology if we are going to continue doing so.
The vision of USFRA is that food production partners will work together to enhance U.S. consumer trust in today’s food production to ensure the abundance of affordable, safe food. To help steer the efforts of USFRA, three supporting vision concepts have also been developed:
- We will enhance consumer trust in the U.S. food production system.
- We will maintain and enhance the freedom of U.S. farmers, ranchers and producers to operate in a responsible manner.
- We will strengthen collaboration among the entire food production system.
- The USFRA board of directors also adopted five strategic objectives to guide the programs and projects:
- Increase the share of voice in key media (national, state, traditional and social).
- Increase the number of policy makers and government officials (at all levels) who accept the value of modern agriculture production.
- Engage key customer decision makers in the dialogue about the value of modern food production.
- Work with leading national influencer organizations (medical, cultural, dietary, environmental, etc.) to create partnerships in support of today’s agriculture.
- Increase the role of producers as the voice of animal and crop agriculture on local, state and national food issues.
Campaign to roll out this summer
USFRA is developing a campaign that will target key influencers of the general consuming public and will educate and inform them about today’s agriculture practices, the technologies used and the benefits of each, and the reason producers do what they do in a highly responsible manner. The campaign will roll out this summer, and the messages incorporated into the campaign will be used throughout all of agriculture.
USFRA also plans to enlist others to participate. Not only will the Alliance engage agribusinesses for support, but it will also reach out to individual farmers, ranchers, and small businesses whose livelihood relies on today’s production agriculture. USFRA recognizes this effort has to represent the entire spectrum of agriculture – all commodities, all sizes of producers, all production systems, and all businesses that supply goods and services. If you want to join this historic campaign, visit usfraonline.org to learn more about how you can participate.
"Somebody’s gotta do something!" If you, too, have felt that frustration, you have the chance to be that “somebody” and join us in the campaign. Just contact me for information. We need your help. Come join us!