By: Eric Mittenthal
Those of us whose job is to communicate about food production know how challenging it can be sometimes. With so many competing messages about how our food is produced, sometimes the stories of those who are on the ground working can slip through the cracks. With that in mind, want to call attention to a new blog series that I enjoyed reading called 30 Days. Started as part of Holly Spangler’s My Generation blog on the Farm Progress site, Holly has turned her focus to writing “30 Days on a Prairie Farm” which chronicles Midwestern farm life and is designed to be shared with non-ag friends. The best part about the effort is that Holly has rounded up friends to join her in 30 days of blogging, making it a month long blog carnival of sorts. More than a dozen other blogs are writing their own posts about food production with topics ranging from “30 things you never knew about food” to “30 days of farm kids stories.” It’s very easy to lose a couple of hours of your day reading through all of the posts. Some of them are very relevant to the meat and poultry industry like this one on hormones in steak, others may not be as much, but the idea is one that the industry should try to emulate to tell its story.
The 30 days blog carnival is just one of many efforts in the agriculture community to spread the word on how our food is produced. #Agchat and #foodchat on twitter have grown into strong communities over the last three and a half years with many blogs growing out of the conversation. Groups like the Alliance to Feed the Future and the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance have a mission to increase the dialogue on how our food is produced. Of course the story of food production can’t be told in just 30 days, but a month’s effort may plant the seeds for more open dialogue.
Update: One more communications effort that deserves mention before thanksgiving is the Food Thanks campaign from the Ag Chat Foundation. This is the third year of food thanks, which encourages people to give thanks for their food and those who provide it. To join you can use #foodthanks on twitter and new this year is a Pinterest page for recipes, photos or other items that inspire food thanks.