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.