Tackling Political Correctness and Religion

Larry Sailer is constantly connected to ag news and market information via his smartphone, iPad, office laptop and piles of newspapers at home near Iowa Falls. Photo Courtesy of IFT Photo by Zoe Martin

AgriBabe… it’s a term I did not create. I’m even questioning whether I should even use it. Since I’m not one to turn tail, I’ll go ahead and explain why this term is even in my vocabulary now.

State Senator Sandy Greiner recently used AgriBabe in reference to an agricultural conference for women. She said, “I think Larry Sailer should come along to meet all the Agri-Babes!” Then she invited me to attend the American Agri-Women Convention in Denver, Nov. 8-10.

I’m seriously thinking about heading West after harvest! But it might be not for the reasons you think. After all, I’m happily married to a great Agri-Babe. [Love you, Babe! :)] The reason this particular conference intrigues me is because I try to learn all that I can to carry on conversations about agriculture with difference audiences. I believe the women at this conference will be able to provide a wealth of information and insight. Let me explain…

While traveling in various social media circles during the past three years, I’ve learned the vast majority of social media users are ladies in their twenties and thirties. I’m not sure why more of us old farmers don’t use social media more, but for one reason or other, Facebook and Twitter appear to be dominated now by women. I’ve become an active social media user because women, mainly urban consumers, are a target I’d like to reach with a pro-agriculture message. I’m trying to gain a better understanding of what’s important to them and how we as farmers can appeal to their emotions.

Emotions and perceptions often cloud common sense. What I think is “just plain common sense” is Greek to someone else. Even though most Americans speak English, it’s often challenging for us to be understood AND to understand what others are telling or asking. Watching online conversations can be intriguing because certain words have different meanings, depending on the region of the country in which a person lives. Sometimes these colloquialisms cause others to take offense, even when they weren’t meant to be offensive. Other times words have different meanings, depending on one’s religion.

I’ve witnessed misunderstandings as a result of miscommunication. It’s easy to see how this can happen online when people “sip” at conservations. Online communications, for the most part, can’t benefit from verbal intonation or facial expression. Emoticons may help, but they can’t replace the real thing. 😉

While I admit that more political correctness could be used in some cases, other times people us “PC” as a crutch. It seems to me a little common sense could go a long way to solving many of today’s problems. But common sense seems to be in very short supply these days, especially when people have an agenda to push or an office to be elected to! That’s why I believe it’s our civic duty as American farmers to engage in conversations that will help educate those running for office and those who are trying to influence public officials about our livelihoods. Agvocate!