The way farmers communicate with consumers is changing. For far too long, farmers have been apprehensive to talk about what they do, but Dr. Emily Buck, associate professor at The Ohio State University, says that approach is no longer working.
“We are in an age today that consumers want to understand farming,” Buck stated. “And the way we are built we’ve just never really done that, so there’s a need for us to start telling those stories and sharing what we do on a daily basis because people don’t get a chance to see the things we see and why we do the things we do.”
In order to have a meaningful dialog, Buck says it’s important to understand who’s leading the discussion.
“Research is showing the three groups that are the most vocal when it comes to policy and discussions are your Millennial’s, your moms, moms who are concerned about what’s going in to their children, and then foodies who are really engaged in what food looks like, how natural, they’re really looking for transparency in the food system,” said the OSU associate professor.
But not everyone is comfortable having a conversation, and that is okay as long as there is someone willing to step to the plate.
“If we’re not part of that conversation and educating and talking with people about why we do things, we’re going to find ourselves in a world of hurt,” Buck said.
When talking about agriculture, Emily Buck says listen for an opportunity to engage, find a shared value, and share a personal story, but, most important, have the conversation.