Something I have been thinking a lot about lately is bridging gaps, whether its with politics, agriculture or social media, I am inherently interested in ways to bring people together rather than separate them. Some think this is too hopeful, but the only thing you can do is try, right? When I think about bridging the gap between consumers and farmers, I am excited to see projects like Farm Journal’s Trust in Food building conversations around the mistrust in our food system and ways to bring farmers, consumers and industry giants together for an honest conversation. I have tried to do the social side of building trust for consumers in brands and in practices like grain bagging or bale wrapping by using some of these traits that I believe consumers want to see in their products, practices and food.
2. Real statistics on environmental affects: Consumers with food and farmers with machines are both looking for real evidence that buying this or eating that is the right decision. Today anyone with an opinion can “be an expert” on a topic because they can create their own blog, stream a video of themselves or state ideas without evidence. This doesn’t cut it for building a reputation for yourself. Customers rightly deserve real numbers, real statistics about animal welfare, run off, ag recycling, sustainable practices and more. Ways to start doing this are doing your research from actual peered reviewed journals and experts in the field with real credentials, not merely an opinion. Below is an a company who is doing this, Indigo Ag. If you haven’t heard of them, its worth checking out.
3. Real family farms: some people have never been to a farm. I know many people who have tons of opinions on food, but have never sat foot on a farm. But they still deserve to know where their food comes from. With social media there is no reason that they cant get a glimpse of what life on the farm is like. So its up to us to give them quality, truthful video and images where we can begin to talk about the practices of farming and animal raising. People want to see real people, not correspondents dictating the show, real farmers and real days in the life of the farmers. Check out this video from How Farms Work below. They are a great resource for people not familiar with farming and shoot real videos, show real problems they face and have fun while they're at it.
4. Machines not running perfectly: if you sell machines you know that even the best finely tuned machine will have problems, sometimes it’s the operator, sometimes it’s the machine. Farmers want to see real demos of machines, not 20 minute videos of shiny machines running perfectly in a field that looks nothing like theirs, they want to see realness. And they want to know about service, and parts, and if the person selling it to them is available when needed and will take care of them. So get someone to take videos of your demos on real farms, it will go a long way.
At the end of the day customers, consumers and farmers all want the same thing. They just want the truth, and they want their brands and what info is given to them to be genuine, transparent and real.