MILWAUKEE — Ask 10 people to define “sustainable food production” and you’ll likely get 10 different answers. That’s why, on the eve of National Agriculture Day, Bader Rutter is focusing attention on how farmers, consumers and influencers view sustainability.
To kick off a full week of Ag Day celebrations at the nation’s largest agricultural marketing agency, Nancy Kavazanjian will speak to Bader Rutter employees today on “Sustainability: The Perception Gap and the Real Opportunity.”
Kavazanjian, a Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, corn and soybean grower, has keen interest in the topic as the chairwoman of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) and a director of the United Soybean Board (USB). She will share insights from recent research studies commissioned by USFRA and USB to understand the differences in how farmers and consumers view sustainability.
Kavazanjian said the research revealed different interpretations of sustainable food production, but showed that consumers care about many of the same issues affecting farmers and ranchers — water, soil, air and habitat.
“Sustainability is a great way for everyone in agriculture to connect with consumers emotionally and build trust for what we’re doing. It’s also a great way for us, as farmers and ranchers, to preserve our bottom line while improving our own businesses,” she said.
This topic is also top of mind for the most influential voices in food and agriculture, based on ongoing monitoring of online, social and traditional media by the Bader Rutter Influence Center. The Influence Center team tracks and analyzes communication by and about the 1,400 individuals who Bader Rutter has identified as the top influencers in food and ag. Not surprisingly, sustainability pops up frequently.
“Our monitoring shows that the definition of sustainability continues to change and expand. Some of the most influential voices use the term when referring to environmental impact or climate changes. Others use it in connection with health or corporate responsibility,” said Greg Nickerson, Bader Rutter CEO. “Ag Day is a great opportunity to foster dialogue with a goal of making sustainability a springboard toward stronger connections throughout the food chain.”
Bader Rutter’s celebration of National Ag Day, March 15, continues throughout the week with ag education for employees who work on both ag-related and non-ag businesses. Plans include a “Pork 101” presentation detailing modern pork production, “Taste of Ag” food sampling and a “Farmland Friday” screening of the USFRA-produced film, Farmland.