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April 3, 2014

Consumers - Farming Deserves More Respect Part 2

"Consumers have every right to be curious about how we raise their food, and I'm more than glad to spend the next year talking about why we do the things we do." states Hurst in his article.

Farming Deserves More Respect  By Blake Hurst

Consumers are obviously a given in our line of work, we grow food and they eat.  But let's be honest, the majority of farms don't sell direct to consumers and therefore the need to communicate directly with them isn't something that receives our immediate attention, nor is it something we thought we ever would need to do.

"But those of us out here in the agricultural hither lands are ill-prepared to joist with eloquent journalism professors, celebrity chefs, and multimillion-dollar propaganda campaigns from franchised burrito stands.  Seed corn gimme caps, blue jeans and a stubborn refusal to darken the door of a gym are inadequate tools when your industry is the cross hairs of Dr. Oz, Oprah and Mark Bittman, food writer and farming critic for The New York Times." - and Hurst is right.

But in today's world of instant 'knowledge' via the internet maybe conversing with consumers might be one extra task farmers need to put on there ever growing to-do list.

I saw a tweet the other day:

and I agree whole heartedly - but I wonder for every person 'gluten free' advertised food has helped how many people who don't need 'gluten free' has it affected simply from a marketing stand-point.  How many people buying and eating 'gluten free' food actually know what gluten is?  Or just because the product implies it is 'free' of something means that it must be better for you?

Marketing gimics are part of the game but it is a game between the processor and the consumer with the producer paying the price.

Social Media is making communicating with consumer a little easier.  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and blogging are all great ways to share with consumers directly from our barn, tractors and offices.  Letting them know we aren't only growing food for their families but for ours as well is a powerful statement when it comes directly from the source.

Not all consumers are farmers but all farmers are consumers!

"Know this about me, and most farmers: We're in this for the long haul.  If I'm using a new method or a new technology, I'm convinced that it's not only the right thing for me, but for my grandkids as well."  -Hurst

Want to know what I think about the technology aspect?


  1. I saw steak advertised as gluten free, which is a true statement, but all steak is gluten free. Marketers keep throwing buzz words around hoping to put more dollars in their pockets. I want their there to be choices and options, but I don't feel like I should have to be constantly be defending or be insulted by my choices.

  2. I like this post, Jent. Well, I like all your posts, but you know what I mean :)

    I was just at the grocery store and found myself having conversations with the unnecessary food labels. I have been shopping for gluten free foods 3.5 years now. I no longer need labels to tell me what is gluten free and what isn't. I know but a quick glance at the ingredients. Even if something is labeled gluten free, I STILL glance at the ingredients because I don't trust labels. I yelled at a package of strawberries labeled gluten free. Really? Really?? Poor strawberries had to hear all that.... not their fault their naturally gluten free!

    1. *their=they're <--- sheesh....... somebody should check their typos before the push publish :)