Successful Farming and Living the Country Life hosted a Women in Ag focus group at our office this week, and the discussion was lively and helpful. Many of the women write blogs about farm life, and know the challenges of communicating about agriculture. As Iowa farmer Alicia Schmitt put it, "Transparency in agriculture is not working as we hoped it would." People often misunderstand what happens on the farm. Why is the farmer pulling that calf with a chain? Why are you burning the horns off that goat? Why are you spraying those chemicals? Let's face it, there is no pretty way to handle downer cows.
Melissa O'Rourke, Iowa State University, told the group to put out positive images of agriculture and if people want to pick a fight, "There is nothing to be gained by engaging with them. Expend your positive energy on other people." See more advice at Ag Decision Maker.
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Heather's little darling, Ben, enjoyed the meeting. They live on a farm in North Carolina.