Friday, March 16, 2018

The Time is Now

By Madeline McGarry, Communications Intern, National Pork Producers Council

Agriculture – it’s everywhere. We live out this universally known, yet often taken for granted, notion every day. From the food on our table, to the clothes on our backs, America’s farmers and ranchers play a major role in our well-being and quality of life.

There are numerous challenges and rewards that come with a producer’s implicit yet awesome responsibility of feeding and fueling the world: from enduring droughts and inclement weather to finding enough labor to care for animals on the farm. But, arguably, one of the greatest challenges our producers face are rooted in misconceptions about the industry. Consequently, bridging the gap between the reality of agricultural production and consumer perception has never been more important.

Consumers are asking more and more questions about the source of their food and how it’s produced. As producers work to address these concerns and educate consumers, they are often faced with deciphering between truth and fiction relayed through the media.

Contrary to perceptions of those less connected to the farm, the methods behind agricultural production are fundamentally anchored in common sense. Farmers and ranchers themselves are closer to their herds and fields than anyone else; they have mastered the ability to identity the individual needs for each and every one of their animals.

Thanks to digital communications, we have new opportunities to connect consumers to agriculture. Farmers and ranchers are committed to transparency and are increasingly telling their stories in unfiltered ways to an American population that is more removed from production practices than they have ever been in our history.

Coupled with digital communication advancements, the emergence of new technology has allowed producers to master their trade and deliver quality to consumers across the globe. Looking forward to the next generation of producers, America’s future farmers are limited only by their imagination and vision for innovation as they work to improve production practices. Technological advancement has created boundless potential for the industry and it is behind their longstanding commitment to continuously improving how they feed the world responsibly, efficiently and sustainably.

The work of our nation’s producers is reciprocal: it allows our farmers to maintain a prosperous rural lifestyle for their families while supplying safe, nutritious and affordable food to a global population . On this National Ag Day, let us encourage storytelling from those who are most informed about agriculture that accurately projects modern agriculture production practices that play such a vital role around the world.