Ag industry attempting to reconnect with consumers

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National Public Radio reports American farmers are using advertising and social media to communicate with the rest of the country who could determine the future of agriculture.

Agriculture companies and farmers are working together to relay a message to the rest of America who doesn’t have a connection to the agricultural industry. Soaring grain and livestock prices have helped farmers and ranchers make a profit, but farm subsidies pad their pocketbooks as well. The ag industry hopes efforts to reconnect with the rest of America will remind voters where their food comes from when budget cuts are considered on the 2012 Farm Bill.

Most of the information the general public has about agriculture is delivered by foodie advocacy groups. Documentaries like Food Inc. and books by Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver portray agriculture in a negative light.  

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke to farm broadcasters at a meeting in Kansas City, Mo., discussing the importance of sharing the story of American agriculture.

"You're going to have folks from cities making decisions about the farm bill," Vilsack said. "You'd better talk to them."

Monsanto and other agribusinesses are responding, launching advertising campaigns featuring real farmers producing food and caring for their land.

Businesses and family farmers are joining forces to share their message. The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, made of two dozen of the biggest ag trade groups, have created a coalition to put consumers at ease about the food they buy for their families.

Major agribusinesses and individual farmers are hoping their efforts lead to support for, and confidence in American agriculture.

Source: National Public Radio



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