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Archive for the ‘Agvocate’ Category

Food, Farmers, Demons and Monsanto

Demonizing companies and individuals through the use of misleading and false information is never productive. More times than not, fissures are created, within families, communities, states, the country and even the world. It is very acceptable to question actions and results, but let us remember to remain objective in our assessment, research the origins of the information and pass on only that which is true. Passing this type of information along, without doing research on it, is just as irresponsible as passing along an email that says the world will end if you don’t forward to your whole address book.

I have seen a number of people posting on Facebook and Twitter lately, that they have signed one of a couple of petitions currently circulating with a host of claims against Monsanto. Many of these people I consider to be friends and respect. I felt inclined to write this post to provide some additional information in order to clarify several of the accusations that are being claimed. I, for one, as a small farmer and rancher, am very grateful for the work that work that Monsanto and others are doing to help farmers be more efficient and holistic in their management opportunities.

Read more…

Degrees, Could They Be More Useful?

When I saw the article on Yahoo last week, ‘College Majors That Are Useless,’ I was reminded of some thoughts I had last May when it first ran on another site. After digging around my laptop a bit, I finally found some notes I had jotted down.

First and foremost, I do not believe that ‘Agricultural Degrees’ are “useless.” However, unlike many, rather than compose a response that points out the value of such a degree, I was struck with the thought, “could agricultural degrees be MORE useful?”

For that matter, could all degrees be more useful?

Personally, I think a quality and broad education, no matter the “degree” associated with it, is only useful if the person is able and willing to apply what they have learned. (But that is another post.)

For the purpose of this post, I am referring to all agriculturally related degrees: animal science, crop science, soil science, agricultural business, horticulture, etc.

Keeping in mind, that agriculture is an ever-changing industry, constantly developing and implementing new technology, becoming more efficient and modifying production practices; are colleges offering and requiring courses for their degree programs that are relevant? Read more…

Yahoo and Agvocating…Time To Look In The Mirror

I can’t help but shake my head in disbelief at some of the responses coming from some in the agricultural community in regards to the article in Yahoo News that listed the “College Majors That Are Useless.”

I am particularly disappointed when I see individuals who are “teaching” others how to utilize social media to agvocate and individuals who have attended training’s, react in such a way.

This article and the one last May were wonderful opportunities to respond in a positive manner and encourage dialogue and conversation on the topic.

However, what ensued were multiple comments, tweets and responses on Facebook that were little more than shouting and bragging…not productive. Read more…

We’ll Listen and Answer Questions

This fall, the U.S. Farmers &Ranchers Alliance is partnering with Discovery Communications to continue to share its message to create an open dialogue with the American public about how food is grown and raised.

The partnership includes three 60-second vignettes and one longer format vignette (4-7 minutes long) shot documentary style.  The discussions range from conversations about the agricultural community’s commitment to continuous improvement to the role farmers and ranchers play in providing healthy choices for everyone.

The short vignette for the video that I shot with Discovery Channel for USFRA has been released.

 

 

The participating farmers and ranchers included:

Shana Beattie – Livestock and Grain Farmer in Sumner, Nebraska

Jeff Fowle –  Farmer/Rancher in Etna, CA

Ken Oneto – Crop and Produce Farmer in Elk Grove, CA

Dino Giacomazzi – Dairy Farmer  in Hanford, CA

Scott Long – Pork Producer in Manteca, CA

Jill Benson – Egg Producer in San Joaquin Valley, CA

To see the other vignettes, visit the Food Dialogues page.

 

“Control The Conversation…NOT!”

September 27, 2011 11 comments

This post is a result of my seeing multiple posts on Twitter, Facebook and even in print that simply cause me to shake my head and ask, Why?

Why are we so afraid of encouraging people to speak from personal experience?

Why are we so afraid to of encouraging people to share their unique perspective?

Why can’t we embrace differences and work together to solve challenges that we all face…together.

Why?

ENOUGH ALREADY….PLEASE!!!

I am still seeing “professionals” and organizations talking about “controlling the message,” “controlling conversations,” providing “talking points” for those who are going to be in the “spotlight” and not being able or willing to trust people or even their own members.

“Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to be a certain way. Be unique. Be what you feel.” – Melissa Etheridge 

NEWS FLASH: People are unique. Perspectives are unique. Everyone has a different story to share, a different way to share it and that is what makes different people interesting to different people.

Positive relationships are developed on mutual trust and respect.

Mutual trust and respect is a result of open and honest conversations.

Open and honest conversations can only occur if individuals share their own story, their own way, in their own words.

If our objective is truly to reach understanding, between those in a respective industry and those outside, all of the individuals must be themselves and speak from personal experience.

Controlling messaging and controlling conversations will never lead to trust, respect or a positive outcome for anyone.

“I am disillusioned enough to know that no man’s opinion on any subject is worth a damn unless backed up with enough genuine information to make him really know what he’s talking about.”H. P. Lovecraft 

 

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