In a world where just about everything can be quantified and your ag marketing program is riddled with figures on opens, click-thrus, impressions and ROI, there is one stat that should rise above the rest when making marketing decisions. It has nothing to do with metrics, yet has the potential to make a significant impact on your business.
I’m talking about census data that shows more than 98% of Americans don’t live on a farm today. What this means is that ag-friendly voices will always be the minority. That almost the entire population is susceptible to misinformation about ag because they’ve never lived or worked on a farm. That we — the nation’s ag community — have to be loud.
As a fourth-generation rancher on a family farm with more than 100 years of history, and a fellow agrimarketer, I know our challenge is a difficult one. We have a complex story, rooted in technology and science that doesn’t make for as sexy of a headline as an emotion-filled sound bite from an ag detractor. But as the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense.
Today is National Ag Day, one of our industry’s finest examples of going on the offense. Instituted by the Agriculture Council of America, it’s a day to celebrate agriculture’s contributions to our nation. While the day is an important reminder to the public of how farmers and ranchers help enhance their quality of life, let it serve as a reminder to the agrimarketing community as well — a reminder that we need to take every opportunity to tell our story.
We need to be proactive instead of reactive when answering to the consumer. Let’s fight emotion with emotion, while providing an unprecedented level of transparency. Let’s galvanize our base. “Agvocates” don’t need experience living and working on a farm. Let’s win over the hearts and minds of our youngest consumers.
That’s why, today at BR, we invite all of our associates to celebrate National Ag Day festivities and learn more about the farmers and ranchers who provide them with an abundant, safe and affordable supply of food.
But these efforts need to be more than just one-off, feel-good, ag-community-building activities. They need to be at the heart of your strategy and at the center of all you do. What’s at stake is the freedom to operate, continued industry progress and our ability to feed the world.
A misinformed society will make misinformed decisions and prevent your business from growing. Perhaps there is no role as crucial in this fight as that of an agrimarketer, so let’s get loud.