Meredith: Has PETA gone too far? It’s not even a question
It’s Thanksgiving again--and you know what that means; a beautiful, cornbread-stuffed turkey with all the fixings, traveling to be with family and friends, and giving thanks for a year’s worth of blessings. But it also means that those of us--like the staff here at the Animal Agriculture Alliance--wait with baited breath for the inevitable barrage of anti-Thanksgiving rhetoric from animal rights groups like PETA. While perusing what has quickly become one of my favorite news websites for information and inspiration, the new Huffington Post Food for Thought (brought to you in part by “Big Burrito” aka Chipotle), I came across an animated... View Blog Post »
Blog: Farmers - not activists - feed the world
In many ways, America is the land of plenty. This is certainly the case when it comes to food--most Americans are lucky enough to have an abundance of choices at the grocery store. But for 1 in 6 people in the United States, America is not the land of plenty. Last month was National Hunger Awareness month, and for the millions of Americans struggling with food insecurity, hunger is a reality that is not confined to small pockets of society, certain areas of the country, or certain demographics. We hear a lot about the global food crisis that’s coming in 2050--how we’ll... View Blog Post »
Meredith: Do backyard chicken coops put the "fun" in farming?
Do backyard chicken coops put the “fun” in farming? Apparently not. Despite visions of quaint coops, happy birds and cheap eggs, the growing trend of raising backyard chickens in urban settings is backfiring, as disillusioned city dwellers, eco-enthusiasts and hipsters are running from their coops as fast as their Birkenstocks can carry them. Over the last several months, there have been dozens of articles written about how hundreds of chickens are being abandoned at the nation’s shelters from California to New York as naïve urbanites discover that—surprise, surprise—farming is actually hard work and takes a lot more knowledge and skill than they... View Blog Post »
When your cousin goes vegan
I started noticing it six, or so, months ago: some particularly “veggie heavy” recipes in the annual family exchange, a few Pinterest posts tagging “Meatless Mondays.” It was a slow build, but soon enough my teenage cousin was visiting my family, sitting at my mother’s Sunday table and refusing bacon: “I’m a vegetarian.” “Excuse me, what?” It’s true, came the reply—she’s sworn off turkey on Thanksgiving, her beloved ham roll-ups, burgers, hot dogs, and of course, bacon. The only silver lining is that she’s still eating cheese (otherwise I don’t know if our home state of Wisconsin would ever forgive her!). My cousin... View Blog Post »
Meredith: Are we overreacting?
I had the privilege this week to speak to a group from Georgia comprised of leaders in agriculture. After I was done with my little schpeal, a very astute gentleman asked me pointedly, “Emily, don’t you just think we’re overreacting?” It’s a good question—are these questions from consumers, this turmoil about food, and the activist group campaigns against animal ag just a trend that will soon fall by the wayside? Golly, I hope so. Do I think that’s likely? No. So are we overreacting? I don’t think so. Granted, I overreact to things probably 20 times a day. From a misplaced article... View Blog Post »
Getting to know our true stakeholders
The Animal Agriculture Alliance recently kicked off its 12th annual Stakeholders Summit with a wide range of speakers, from online moms to the former Under-Secretary for USDA Food Safety Inspection Service. While the speakers came from different backgrounds and had very different personalities, one theme resonated above all the rest. In the first presentation of the day, Joe Miller, General Counsel for Rose Acre Farms, stated about consumers: “they don’t need to know us, we need to know them.” The theme of getting to know our true stakeholders, asking them what they want, and giving it to them is one that resonated... View Blog Post »
Important task ahead in communicating with consumers
My path into agriculture was a little different than most people. Agriculture wasn’t my family business; I didn’t grow up raising farm animals or helping to plant fields. I often tell people that agriculture was the career that chose me: as a college sophomore who started working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. Fast forward eight years, two degrees, four moves and numerous life milestones later — and I’m back where my love for agriculture began. I’m in Washington, D.C., working as the Communications Director for the Animal Agriculture Alliance. While my background may not be typical, what it... View Blog Post »
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