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.
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.
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
Last Thursday, I was helping my wonderful wife move a trunk of horse show supplies from the tack room to storage. As we were passing through the shop, we passed by my anvil, which I pass by numerous times each day. Thursday, however, as I went by, the end of the anvil caught me in the thigh…even though I had “given it a wide berth” or so I thought.
For those not familiar with anvils, I use ours to shape shoes for the horses and as an aid in the fabrication of steel projects.
For some reason, Job 37:14 popped into my head: “Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the works of God. Dost thou know when God disposed them, and caused the light of his cloud to shine? Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wonderous works of him which is perfect in knowledge? How thy garments are warm, when he quieteth the earth by the south wind?”
Too often, we all get absorbed in what we feel is best, become overly concerned in what we can accomplish, care more for getting acknowledgment for our actions or are so engrossed in doing what we think is best, that we forget to “stand still, and consider the works of God.”
The good Lord works in mysterious ways and last Thursday, He used an anvil to remind me to stand still, consider his works and refocus on doing his work, putting others first and reminding me that it more important to build bridges on mutual trust and understanding than to force “education” on others.
It’s about listening…listening with the genuine intent to learn from each other.
Open your minds, open your hearts…
Take a moment to “stand still.”
On the flight home from Chicago to Sacramento on Sunday, I was listening to my iPod when the song Twisted, by Colt Ford came on. I have listened to this song more times than I can remember, but this time I actually heard the lyrics and it was profound how it related to what I have been mulling about in my own mind recently.
Lord, I’m twisted, I feel the stress that’s hangin’ on me,
And all this pain in my family – they all depend on me.
Lord, I’m twisted, I feel the stress that’s hangin’ on me,
And all the pain in my family – they all depend on me.
Lord, I’m twisted. yeah. Lord, I’m twisted. oh yeah
I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know
If I should wait or should I go, I just don’t know
Recently, I have seen a number of comments referring to amazement at the time a number of farmers and ranchers spend off the home place traveling. I felt compelled to put together my thoughts on the matter, as this related directly to me and how I have decided to invest my time both on and off the ranch.
Farmers and ranchers today are faced with a plethora of decisions to make when it comes to how to invest their time. For decades, farmers and ranchers spent nearly every waking hour on the farm or ranch, and maybe, every once in a while, would take a day or two off to go to the county fair or a very short vacation. Times have changed. Read more…
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