Animal Ag Alliance works with farmers and ranchers to help them learn to tell their story to the non-farming public. Kay Johnson Smith, President & CEO of the Animal Agriculture Alliance explains to Southern Farm Network’s Bob Midles that it’s also important to address issues with urban legislators, at all levels of government:
“What we haven’t done a great job of is talking to those legislators at the state and national level that are not agriculture representatives. And that don’t come from rural communities or represent the farming and ranching areas. But every single person eats and these policies should be as important to the urban legislators as they are to rural legislators. It’s a matter of us making sure they understand how critical the decisions they make relative to food and ag issues impact their constituency. So when we have a legislator who represents a large majority but has a very small land base, the food policies that they vote on impact their constituents probably more so than in the rural communities. Often times they have lower incomes, so when we make policies to raise the cost of food, its really a much harsher impact on the folks living in cities.
I would encourage anyone who is involved in meeting with their legislator to have them understand the issues and the impact of their decisions.
Farmers and Ranchers love just that. But speaking to consumers and lobbyists has to be part of their business plan. A great way to do it is through social media. We know that you cant invite guests to come in your operation every day, but you can have a website, a facebook page and twitter. It’s a great way to open yourself up to the public and post photos to help humanize our industry. It goes a long way in connecting the public to understand farming and the people behind it.”
President & CEO of animal Ag Alliance, Kay Johnson Smith