American Farm Bureau’s Focus on Ag for this week deals with new media advocacy. Here it is:
Walking the Walk Even More Vital Today
By Jerry R. Harke
Today farmers and ranchers often find themselves answering questions about the care they give to the animals they raise. And most of the time these questions arise after news stories or emotional television shows about an animal abuse incident.
What’s behind the drama? To be sure, there have been some cases of animal abuse and responsible farmers and ranchers everywhere denounce any kind of inappropriate treatment or abuse of farm animals.
At the heart of the matter are several activist groups that have long been opposed to modern livestock production. While their direction and purpose generally disregards the need to feed an ever-increasing population, their presence and voice in the news media serves to disrupt that process and, in some cases, bring it to a complete halt.
What can farmers and ranchers do to counter the impact of such activities? Perhaps one of the most basic things is continuing to focus even more intently on “walking the walk.” That means doing the right thing on their farms and not leaving one inch of wiggle room that activist groups can use as a wedge issue.
Here’s a seven-step process for showing responsiveness to public concerns about animal care on farms and ranches.
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