Wednesday, March 7, 2012

5 Facts Consumers Should Know

National Agriculture Day, March 8th

In honor this week's celebration of  Agriculture, I want to share with you an amazing and touching letter a Texan farmer wrote to consumers. One of the key takeaways for me, coming from a family farm, was that it's time start talking with consumers-instead of at consumers. We're at a time when consumers are eager as ever to learn about where the food that they provide to their families comes from. Since we, the farmers, are the ones raising that food we share a common interest with consumers and can probably learn something from each other and hold a conversation. To start, I'd like to share the 5 things this Texan Farmer thinks consumers should know.

  • "I am a family farmer. I am not some faceless company that grows your food with reckless disregard for anything but profit. My family has farmed the same land for generations. I hope my children and grandchildren choose this way of life as well.

  • The environment is important. I cannot farm without the precious gifts of land and water. I must farm with care and caution and the practices I use must be sustainable—so the land will provide indefinitely and the water will be safe for my family and yours.

  • Food is all about choices. Some consumers choose organic. Others prefer food that is locally grown. Most would rather buy their food off the grocery store shelves. That’s all okay. There is a farmer out there who is committed to ensuring your choice is fulfilled in a safe and responsible manner.

  • Inhumane treatment of livestock is not an option. I assure you my livestock are humanely treated, are well fed and watered, and are looked after when sick. Proper care and nutrition—besides being the right thing to do—keep my livestock productive. My income—and your choices at the meat counter—depend on it.

  • Farming is my job. I take my job seriously. A profitable farm ensures my children are well fed, clothed and enjoy the same opportunities as their friends in town."
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