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Our Opportunity: Changing the farm conversation with consumers

Published Dec. 13, 2010 | Discuss this article on Facebook
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A November Grow and Know event at Woodhaven Farm in Licking County.

Buckeye Farm News

Reconnecting consumers to the farm

As the state’s largest general farm organization, Ohio Farm Bureau is charged with the challenging task of balancing the interests of its diverse membership. For decades, it has used the collective voice of Ohio farmers to advocate for the common good on public policy issues such as fair taxation, property rights and regulations. While continuing those efforts, Ohio Farm Bureau now is in position to facilitate a widespread reconnection of consumers to the farm. With 145,000 consumers and a majority of Ohio farmers as members, who better to lead the conversation, moderate the debate and help reach a consensus about food and farming issues?  And by providing a path for farmers themselves to cultivate a practical and mainstream food movement, we can lead the way to a new age of prosperity for agriculture in Ohio.

Where do we start?

Changing our conversation with consumers doesn't mean giving away the farm. It simply asks farmers to share their values about producing food and to listen to consumers while they share theirs. From that point, we can get to honest discussion about the realities of farming and the impacts of consumer choice.  Ohio Farm Bureau has launched several efforts directed at this.  But county Farm Bureaus and individual farmers are also in great position to take advangtage of consumers' renewed interest in food through local newsletters, county events and other outreach activities.

Here are just a few simple examples:

  • Ohio Farm Bureau's Pleased to Feed You feature introduces readers of Our Ohio magazine to Ohio farmers as they share their thoughts on producing food.  As with all content in the magazine, Ohio Farm Bureau encourages readers to ask additional questions through e-mail, websites or social media.  
  • During 'Grow and Know' events, Ohio Farm Bureau is building relationships with consumers by providing them with practical information on food-related topics.     
  • Through social media and web videos, Ohio Farm Bureau is not only providing information to new audiences, it is also able to respond directly to consumers questions and begin new conversations.

 



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