AGvocate is a term being used, in today's industry, by many Farmers and Ranchers.
I actually used the word, in a social media comment, this week.
I may have a stalker on said social media, because as soon as I posted the comment, one of my friends sent a text asking "What the heck does AGvocate mean?"
Here is my Rancher Girl Definition of AGvocate:
1) To speak in favor of agriculture.
2) To recommend agriculture publicly.
3) To support and promote interests in agriculture.
Gone are the days of the Farmers and Ranchers only doing work, in the fields and pastures, tending to crops and livestock.
There has been much controversy surrounding our industry, from grain fed to grass fed meat, free range to pasture range eggs, and even genetically modified food.
As if feeding the world wasn't hard enough!
With the rise in population and activist groups, consumers have been removed from the "good ole" Farmers and Ranchers who feed the world.
Many will argue the way our industry cares for our livestock, the fuel used to complete our jobs, the consumption of feed stuffs fed, and the manner in which to produce what feeds your family.
Farmers and Ranchers can no longer keep to themselves and just do the job they love.
They must get out in the public eye, conform to new technology, and speak about what they do daily.
Bygone are the Farmers and Ranchers of the 20th century.
It is my opinion, the "new generation" of consumers are so far removed from farm and ranch life, they will believe everything read on the internet.
We all know "Everything you read on the internet is true!" right?
It has now become the Farmers and Ranchers job to AGvocate the world.
We must do our part to rebuild faith and trust in the industry.
We must stop the false accusations and made up stories.
It is our duty, as Farmers and Ranchers, to paint a new picture of hope.
The type of pictures past generations of Farmers and Ranchers painted.
Many consumers want to know where their food comes from.
I don't blame them.
I want to know too!
It is one of the reasons we raise our own beef, purchase hogs from local 4-H/FFA kids, have chickens, and shop farmers markets for produce.
I find myself, more and more, telling our story.
Whether it be social media, blogging, or simple conversation to an egg customer, I am AGvocating.
As members of the industry, we can't down play what one Farmer or Rancher does vs the other Farmer or Rancher.
We must be supportive of the industry on the whole.
Our beef is grain fed and our eggs are free range.
If a customer is looking for grass fed beef or pasture range eggs, we must be able to direct them to the proper source.
We expect those suppliers to do the same.
That is how we AGvocate!