Is sustainable agriculture sustainable in the public’s eye?
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the annual Environmental Respect Award event in Washington, DC. During one of the morning sessions, the attendees broke into three smaller groups to discuss the topic of sustainable agriculture at length.
It was interesting, to say the least. While everyone in my breakout group agreed that sustainable agriculture was definitely an industry practice everyone in the marketplace was wise to adopt, getting this decidedly good news out to John Q. Public seemed to be a much fuzzier proposition.
“I know I’ve talked about the benefits of sustainable agriculture to the farm press folks, and they get it,” said one attendees, pointing in my direction. “But I have no idea how I can reach out to those outside our market and get them to realize just how great a practice this really is.”
Since virtually everyone in my breakout group agreed this was a major issue for agriculture, we spent the rest of our 40 minutes together thinking of ways to bridge this gap between the industry and the outside world. Some recommended intensifying community outreach efforts that promoted sustainable agriculture. Others thought some kind of sustainable agriculture television ad, akin to the Chevy/Paul Harvey/Farmer spot that ran during the 2013 Super Bowl, might work. A minority thought just continuing to support sustainable agriculture would eventually do the trick.
So what do you think? If you can, answer this week’s poll question on how the industry can spread the good word of sustainable agriculture. It’s definitely something our market needs to promote more than it has been in the past.