Outside Pressure on Ag…

There are many issues facing agriculture.  However, I feel the biggest is the increasing pressure from so many different groups.  First, I think there are too many hands in the “cookie jar.”  We have PETA, HSUS, the feds, the states, and everyone else breathing down our necks.  This is great they want to be involved.  What they are creating is an “Attila the Hun situation.”  Just as Attila supposedly pulled the limbs off of victims, by pulling in all directions, so are all these groups.  They all have different agendas and want the agricultural community to just jump to request.  This pressure of being pulled in so many different directions is a huge inhibitor to what we try to accomplish.

I feel that if there is more discussion and less one sided request/demands that much more can be accomplished.  It is not that producers are not willing to cooperate, it is that they cannot because of so many pressures.  On Tuesday’s (3/19) #FoodChat conversation there was a question about concerns among consumers.  Responses varied from not enough food to too many involved to the internet.  @Chelsea_PA said, “I’m concerned that in the world of the internet,consumers is causing distrust the system as a whole.”  This is a great point because it exemplifies my concern exactly.  The internet is a great resource but can also be hurtful too.

To work to fix this, I think there are many ways we can accomplish this.  I think that we should work to add more ag programs back into high schools and make them mandatory!  I also think that as part of a liberal arts college education that we add a general class about agriculture.  When we add these courses though we cannot make them just typical courses.  They need to be interactive and student centered.  No one will pay attention in a class they have to take, especially if they have no interest and it does not involve them.  I have personally found this out, some do not even pay attention to classes directly relevant to their end goals.  If we can work to use new technologies that play into a more active learning process we can work to better educate people about their food.  Being able to engage people in agriculture conversations through new courses will work to allow all the ability to see the problems the industry faces and allow them to be able to better work with the situation.  There are an unending amount of ways we can work to address the issues of too many agendas, and naming them all would be exhausting.  Does anyone else have thoughts like this?

Until Next Time, Go BEEF,

-Zach

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