Happy National Ag Week! For those of us in the agriculture industry, this week is a celebration of what we do daily; which is growing the food on our tables and supplying the resources for the products we all use in our daily lives. However, there is a large number of folks within our communities and country at large that don’t even know where our food comes from.
As shocking as that seems, “agriculture illiteracy” is a big thing. This means for people in the agriculture industry that is a big problem! If your customers don’t know the basics of how food is originated, I don’t mean all the ins and outs of growing it, but just where it starts from, means our customers don’t understand us. This means as agriculturists we have a big job to do and that is to share our message!
How does this happen do you wonder? Well, with each passing year agriculture’s footprint grows smaller and the link to the farm and what goes on there is even wider with each passing generation. This leaves us with generations of people who don’t know a lot or even anything about the food they are eating. Thus, their only sources are to research the subject on the internet and social media. While this isn’t all bad, it isn’t all good either.
How do you know what is right about the information you are seeing about your food? Well, I say start with the source who produced it. Talk to a farmer, either down the road, at your farmers market, or through organizations that work with farms like the Farm Bureau, Extension, your SWCD’s and others. Or if you do need questions answered and you don’t know how to find out, try these resources
Best Food Facts: bestfoodfacts.org, Fill Your Plate Blog-fillyourplate.org/blog, the Center for Food Integrity: foodintegrity.org, and Ohio Farm Bureau-ohiofarmbureau.org. Social media sources on Facebook or Instagram @Foundation4Ag, @ AmericanFarmBureau, @OhioFarmBureau. Also, there are some great Instagram and Facebook farmers who are truly telling agriculture’s story locally check out @Crossway Farms, nationally, @NewMexicoMilkmaid, @GirlsEatBeefToo, @BrandiBuzzard, and many more.
Let’s all work together to make agriculture illiteracy a nonthing by asking a farmer about what he does? Join us this week National Agriculture Week, and celebrate the fact that in the United States we have many choices on how we are able to feed families and that is all because our farmers are producing the safest and most affordable food in the world. Thank you agriculture!
Want to learn more, contact the Auglaize, Logan, Mercer, and Shelby County Farm Bureau at 877-775-7642 or learn more at www.ofbf.org
The writer is the Ohio Farm Bureau’s organization director for Auglaize, Logan, Mercer and Shelby counties.