When have you spoken up on behalf of agriculture, or helped to correct someone’s misconception? What was their reaction?
I often wonder when/how in my lifetime how many people I will get the opportunity to tell someone that is not familiar with agriculture about how great it is and to educate them on the greatness of the industry. I believe it should be a passion for everyone in agriculture to tell their story and bring people as close to the farm as possible, whether it is through a story or an actual visit.
I can remember the first time when I was younger about how uneducated some people can be when it comes to agriculture. I was at an event in town and there were some sheep there. A lady reached over to pet one of the sheep and she began to explain to her little girl that this is where cotton comes from. Needless to say, my mom told her otherwise.
Recently, I was at a store with my wife in a big city and I was browsing alone while she shopped. I was looking at some “organic” sheets to see how they were marketing them and where they were made. The sales rep hurried over to offer me the information as to how “organic” sheets were the softest in the world and contaminant-free, which made them good for our skin. I then took it upon myself to give him a very cordial and thorough history lesson of cotton production and how “organic” is not always better or really even if they are organic at all, even though the label says so. He was very enthused to hear my story and actually said he had a better understanding outlook and perception on things since we talked. My wife of course was ready to go long before I finished my talk with the salesman, but I told her I had to do my part. I also had to apologize to the clerk that he would not get the sale from me, but the knowledge he gained was free on my part.
Since that day I have been more conscious not to take so much for granted and expect everyone to know all that we all in agriculture already know, and to educate someone whenever we have the chance. As for myself, I may be at it alone and not with my wife while she is shopping — and not having to wait on me!
San Angelo, Texas