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How the 98% Can Support the 2%

03/11/2019

DIVERSITY IN AGVOCACY CONTRIBUTION IS IMPORTANT

Author: Erin Shockley

Agriculture isn’t just for the rural setting anymore. Agriculture isn’t just farming; it involves science, communications, business transactions, various skills trades, sales, and so much more. Agriculture isn’t something that can be forgotten; it’s here to stay. One thing for sure, agriculture provides the fuel, food, and fiber that we all need to thrive in this world. Agriculture is necessary and we need to support it as much as possible and make it “cooler than a polar bear’s toenails”.

Supporting agriculture, A.K.A. AGvocacy, is something that everyone can contribute to and be a part of. With less than 2% of the U.S. population involved in agriculture production, it puts a lot of pressure on these producers to not only provide the food, fuel, and fiber for all of us, but also finding the time to educate and advocate about agriculture to the other 98% of the population. If everyone did their part in getting involved, educating themselves, and advocating for the agriculture industry, we can all be successful in providing for our ever-growing population.

The following are ways in which you can become an AGvocate, whether you’re directly involved with agriculture or not:

Learn Where Your Food, Fuel, and Fiber are Coming From:
Read articles and share them with friends and family, subscribe to AG industry newsletters, educate yourself on topics such as organic vs. GMO, discuss where your groceries are actually coming from with your children.

Grow Your Own Garden/Raise Your Own Animals:
Rewarding yourself with the fruits of your labor is awesome! Plus, it makes you realize how much work goes into AG production. Share this experience with your children.

Talk to Your Local Farmer/Attend AG-Related Events:
Without support, some of these farms or events may eventually fade away. Again, this will educate and inform, while being able to ask your own questions and get answers straight from the source. Plus, you never know what great ideas may arise when diverse groups of people gather.

Donate Your Time or Money to an Agriculture Non-Profit/Organization:
These programs and organizations need your support to thrive and provide outlets for individuals that want to become a part of the agriculture industry. Nurturing their missions and objectives gives these organizations more time to focus on teaching rather than trying to raise the funds to continue on.

Purchase Your Products Straight from the Source/Buy Local:
Sure, you might save a little money buying from a big retailer, but the money you spend with a local farmer/producer goes a long way. Supporting everyone is great, but supporting the local businesses makes a greater impact.

Don’t Forget:
If you’re not directly connected to agriculture, it’s easy to forget how much hard work goes into producing the food, fuel, and fiber that we use every day. Always keeping this top-of-mind and being appreciative of the necessities that are readily available to you is one of the easiest tasks on this list.

Last but Not Least, Thank a Farmer:
Thanking all the folks that contribute to agriculture goes a long way. Make them feel appreciated and they’ll be darn sure to keep working as hard as they do 365/24/7.
These are just some of the things you can do to AGvocate for agriculture. Thank you in advance for helping us create a world where the 98% supports the 2% so that 100% of us can succeed.