Is agvocacy pointless?

I was a little dismayed just now when, while skimming a post on Facebook, I saw someone post this:

Someone convince me all [our] discussion about food and farms is making a difference!

Now, as someone who has spent a lot of time having discussions about food production and farming, I got really disappointed that a comment like this could be coming from one of our own. Do we really think sharing our stories and talking to people about where their food comes from is a waste of time? Are we really so jaded by bad experiences that we think it isn’t worth it?

I sure hope not.

No matter what I hope for, though, I want to hear from others. Are you a non-farmer who thinks differently about agriculture because of something you learned from talking to a farmer? Are you a farmer who is more optimistic about our future because of an experience you had with someone who doesn’t farm, but wanted to learn more about where their food came from? Please help me feel a little better about all the hard work we do to “agvocate” – because I refuse to believe that it isn’t making a difference.

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5 thoughts on “Is agvocacy pointless?

  1. cashtwentytwo says:

    ‘Agvocating’ is invaluable! Online dialogue between farmers unifies a group of likeminded people, and provides a support network for those reaching out to nonfarmers. I’ve had many opportunities outside of social media to explain what I do, and why I do it. These have been largely due to me ‘finding my voice’ through online interactions. Don’t lose hope.

  2. daringrimm says:

    Great question Amanda, and something we need to honestly ask ourselves. For me, I’m reminded of a couple specifics. A mom in NYC that connected to a farmer blog via a Google search after watching one of the undercover animal videos. A local food advocate from CA that found my “Why I grow corn” post and really wanted to understand the process of commodity production in the Midwest.

    Those are the two specifics that come to mind, in the bigger picture, discussions and decisions surrounding what we eat WILL be made, that is not a choice. Our decision of whether to be involved is, and I hope many farmers and ranchers join me in realizing the value and benefits to be gained in actively participating in the ongoing food conversation.

  3. The Farmer's Life says:

    Like Darin said I feel that things are going to happen in this world with or without us, so why not say our piece. I know there are minds out there we’ll never change, and their voices are often the loudest, but somebody not as educated on the issue or on the fence might be reading even they aren’t actively participating in the conversation.

    Also all the things I’m doing on social media are a nice outlet for me and my thoughts even if nobody was listening to what I have to saw. Sometimes it just feels good to put it all out there and not to just keep it all to yourself.

  4. Sally Colby Scholle says:

    I sometimes wonder about this too, but not for long. We absolutely must continue to tell our story (although that phrase is becoming a bit worn out). For me, blogging is putting something out that I hope others read, think about and perhaps question.

    I think agvocating is one of the best ways to reach non-farmers in a non-threatening manner. If they ask questions, we’ve succeeded.

  5. SlowMoneyFarm says:

    Through agvocating I’ve learned not nearly as many people are opposed to eating rabbit as some would have us believe. I’ve seen that sometimes people are just curious and are going to ask questions so if we’re not there someone else will be. Even those within agriculture don’t know about other types of agriculture in many ways. I think it is an asset.

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