Tell them the story of agriculture

As you all know, agriculture has faced a lot of attacks in the media this year. We don’t have to go very far back to see the reports and events that have made life difficult for some of our friends in agriculture. First, H1N1 is referred to as the swine flu and nearly cripples the pork industry. Just two weeks ago, Nightline aired a story on the dairy industry that was bias even in its title, “Disturbing Reality of Dairy Land.” Then, just last week, CBS aired a report on antibiotics in livestock and littered the report with references to “factory farming.”

Before I get too upset, I’ll first state my agreement with an editor who said the media reports sensational stories, because that’s what we viewers/readers have decided we want. It’s not speculation. It’s proven. So, they grab the sensational.

However, I still feel these reporters could have done a better job at airing the truth. Because, the truth as I know it first hand from the dairyAg Photo for blog industry, is that the majority of producers care for their animals better than we care for our pets. Providing regular vet visits to ensure health, taking care of hoof treatments, and providing a nutritionist who has them on a healthy diet. And the truth, as I know it from the pork industry, is that the antibiotics given to their animals are only antibiotics approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat pigs, and are administered when pigs are sick, susceptible or exposed to illness. Click here for more information.

When someone talks about agriculture negatively, it’s important that we all speak – with one voice – about the truth of agricultural practices. Spread the message about how you care for your land and water. Let them know your passion for your work, and your dedication to helping feed our world. That’s the true story.

What stories are you going to share with consumers?