I am. Many of my neighbors are too. We are the small minority of the American population that produces food to feed 330 million Americans, as well as a lot of folks in other counties that the United States exports to.
I am super proud of what we do, how we do it, and why we do the things we do. Most of the 1.5% share this pride. However, we have made some critical errors in our proud 'doing'. Those errors have led to some serious unintended consequences in the recent history of American agriculture. In our business of 'doing' we have failed to 'tell' and 'explain' what and why.
My challenge to you today if you are part of the 1.5%, start telling your story. Tell your farming and ranching story. Start listening to and understanding concerns. Start finding conversations in areas of common ground. Start communicating. Productively. Our prolonged silence in agriculture has created a communication void resulting in distrust from our consumers. The only way to restore trust and gain understanding is to communicate.
The host blog of this challenge to farmers and ranchers was established six years ago and has all but become a digit Christmas newsletter the last three years, a failure on my part. In the first three years, when it was actively published, it brought 30,000 readers to Elkhorn Creek Ranch. It allowed readers the opportunity to see what a day in the life of a typical rancher looks like and explains why we do many of the things that we do. Understanding 'what', 'how', and 'why' is essential to building back trust.
So what I am asking:
1 - share your stories
2 - hashtag your sharing to a common hashtag
I'm also going to share a webpage from our website. It contains some recommended reading and a couple videos. I encourage you to help build the communication void in a productive way!
Now, lets get to building trust by telling our stories and lets hashtag them for ease of finding!