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I want to take the opportunity to publicly thank and recognize Cooper Farms.
The Ohio-based company is active in the pig, turkey and egg industries, but its recent act of generosity will not only help those three industries, but also those in the broiler, beef and sheep sectors, as well as those in the feed industry and the farmers who raise those feed grains.
How? By wholeheartedly supporting the Animal Agriculture Alliance.
Cooper Farms, whose director of live production, Terry Wehrkamp, is the chairman-elect of the Animal Agriculture Alliance, pledged to match all donations made by individuals to the alliance on “Giving Tuesday,” which was November 29.
A lot of people responded, as the alliance reported two days later that personal donations exceeded $3,300, and those donations, matched by Cooper Farms will help the organization carry out its mission. Since Giving Tuesday, an additional $2,700 has been donated as of the time of this writing.
I can’t say enough good things about the alliance and the great work that its small staff does. On its webpage, the alliance describes itself as an “industry united, nonprofit organization that helps bridge the communication gap between farm and fork.”
During its most recent Stakeholders Summit, the alliance assembled a great group of speakers who talked about how those in the agriculture industry can speak to adversarial animal rights activists and environmentalists, and the general population that hears messages from those people that may not have equal opportunities to learn from those most directly involved and most knowledgeable about agriculture. In addition, summit speakers also shared how livestock and poultry operations can improve situations at their own facilities to make sure that adversaries have no legitimate reasons to speak out against the industry.
One session at the summit in particular showed the disconnect between the non-farming public and the animal agriculture sectors, as Jan Johnson, Principal, Millennium Research, assembled a focus group of general consumers, asked them questions pertinent to agricultural issues, but did not reveal to them who they were speaking in front of until the end of the sessions. The answers given were quite surprising. And those answers also showed us why we need the Animal Agriculture Alliance.
Cooper Farms sees the great things the alliance is doing. It’s my hope that more will also see that helping the organization financially can help all of us in the poultry and livestock industries.
While the deadline has passed for Giving Tuesday, contributions to the alliance can still be made online. If you are looking to make an end-of-year tax-deductible donation but haven’t decided what to donate to, this would be a good one. Or, if you just want to help a good cause, this is one.
I’m confident you won’t regret helping this organization.