Keep advocating for agriculture

By Jeremy Brown

We’ve all read the headlines condemning agriculture, and we should take those attacks personally. Because they affect each one of us—farmers and ranchers in Texas and across the nation.

We get angry and blame lack of knowledge. But we should channel that anger into productivity. To fuel our passion and share our stories.

That’s how we make progress, and it’s working. Consumer trust in agriculture is growing. We’re plowing the ground and planting seeds of information, assurance and transparency. That cultivates and strengthens relationships with our consumers.

That’s important, because folks are more interested in their food now than ever before.

So, what’s the food-conscious Texan to do? Head to the Internet, search for a local farmer and start asking questions.

We have to be that local farmer, the person our consumers and community reach out to. That’s my goal for my part of West Texas. It should be your goal, too.

Those conversations don’t have to just be about food. Farming practices, the environment and goals are good topics, too. Discuss the rewards of working the land. Talk about economic and financial sustainability.

But don’t hesitate to discuss the obstacles.

Low commodity prices have all of us farmers worried. Young farmers and ranchers are nervous to jump in and be a part of agriculture. And consumers wonder if the food they eat is safe and was grown with care.

Those are alarming trends, but we can take steps to secure our future. Baby steps. Then long strides.

It won’t happen overnight, so be in it for the long haul. Just like the late nights in the tractor and the early mornings in the barn.

We love what we do. Why not share that with our communities and consumers online and face-to-face?

Jeremy Brown is a fifth generation farmer who grows cotton, organic cotton, peanuts, wheat, rye, grain sorghum and sesame in West Texas. 

 

One Response to “Keep advocating for agriculture”

  1. Jeremy, This is a great strategy that I myself try to follow and tell the story of my cotton farmer husband who just planted his 44th cotton crop. I see that you raise both conventional cotton and organic cotton. The main obstacle I face in telling the story of our conventional cotton farming operation is combating the myths promoted by organic farming, i.e. nothing but sunshine and rain touching the land. Since you farm both, I would love to see you tell the story side by side of what you actually put on your conventional cotton and what you put on the organic cotton, all ingredients listed. I have a farmer friend who raises organic wheat and trucks in his organic fertilizer from Arizona. It contains a mixture of several very strong acids and a little seaweed. He markets his organic wheat to folks raising organic duck eggs and such as fertilized with seaweed, omitting the rest of the mixture that was trucked across three states to get here. Granted, they are approved organic chemicals, but they are chemicals none the less. It’s so hard to tell the story of all the wonderful advances in agriculture, when faced with other farmers claiming something like seaweed that appeals to those who don’t understand the science and technology, but understand seaweed. You would be perfect to help shine a truthful light on both methods. I look forward to following your story.

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