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USFRA Challenges Farmers and Ranchers To Interact With Consumers

Improving dialogue between producers and consumers can clear up confusion

Published on: Dec 31, 2012

As Americans begin to make New Year's resolutions for 2013, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance encourages farmers and ranchers to place engaging consumer audiences about today's agriculture at the top of their lists.

According to survey findings by USFRA, more than one in four Americans (27%) admit they often are confused about the food they are purchasing. Three in five Americans would like to know more about how food is grown and raised, but don't feel they have the time or money to make it a priority (59%).

Bob Stallman, chairman of USFRA and president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, says farmers and ranchers are encouraged to set the record straight about today's agriculture.

Technology is a powerful tool in information sharing - USFRA encourages farmers to share their story via Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.
Technology is a powerful tool in information sharing - USFRA encourages farmers to share their story via Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.

"We want consumers to know that America's farmers and ranchers share their values and are committed to answering Americans' questions about how we raise and grow food. But to accomplish that goal, we all need to make a commitment to listen and respond positively to consumer concerns," Stallman said.

To improve information sharing, USFRA recommends six steps to becoming involved:

Commit to learn more – Sign up for alerts and information at fooddialogues.com/user/register.

Understand the language – Since 2011, USFRA has immersed itself in a wide range of research and messages to identify ways to continue to break through to influence consumers. This research found that people are concerned with the way farmers and ranchers produce food. Although they respect farmers and ranchers, they believe most food comes from "big ag". They distrust the industry, and as a result, aren't sure the methods and technologies used are safe for their long-term health.

Get trained –The "Conversations with EASE" – Engage, Acknowledge, Share and Earn trust is a presentation that provides tested ways to start or continue dialogues about food production. This training is based on research about what resonates and drives trust with consumers. Farmers, ranchers and industry organizations can learn more by contacting Abby Rinne at rinne@usfraonline.org.

Respond to misinformation – In addition to registering for USFRA's alerts, join the more than 4,000 farmers and ranchers who have signed up for the Farmer and Rancher Mobilization (a.k.a. F.A.R.M) Team. There are times when we see news stories, videos or online comments about farming and ranching that are not quite accurate. Americans have questions about their food, and the information available online is not always factually correct. This program provides farmers and ranchers a way to identify and clarify these misperceptions. To sign up, go to fooddialogues.com.

Tell your story in your own words – Start a conversation about farming and ranching today. Start a conversation wherever you are: at the grocery store, at the airport, at a sporting event or on your personal blog or Facebook page.

Join the movement - Support USFRA's efforts by joining our movement along with our affiliates and industry partners. Organizations and companies can become a USFRA affiliate or industry partner today.