Dr. Marty Strauss understands the issues consumers have in understanding food/food information. He also understand agricultures desires to help. Dr. Strauss offered how to better bridge the producer/consumer communications gap.
The Center for Food Integrity published its 2011 Consumer Trust Research (PDF link). The top three priority goals driving consumer food choices include: Safe food, affordable food for me and my family, and nutritious food. It was noted that consumers distinguish between family farmers versus commercial farmers.
There is an inverse relationship between the perception of shared values and priorities for commercial farms. Consumers fear that commercial farms will put profit ahead of principle and therefore cut corners when it comes to other priority issues. As farms continue to change in size and scale we have to overcome that bias by more effectively demonstrating our commitment to the values and priorities of consumers.
The use of antibiotics in animal agriculture fuels discussion based on few facts and much misinformation. Dispel many of those myths as you review these presentations from the National Institute for Animal Agriculture's 2011 Antibiotic Use In Food Animals, held October 26-27, 2011, Chicago, IL, USA.
What does the future of America hold? Some good perspective from a recent video series at the Wall Street Journal titled "America: A Portfolio of Ideas" featured several different perspectives and is highly recommended. To give you a feel for what it holds we share this brief audio featuring John Naisbitt (Megatrends) and Gloria Naisbitt on the influence of culture on our trading relationship with China.
With respect to new and social media, across beef, dairy, poultry, swine, and crop farmers, 30% of the people spent at least 10% of their week reading watching, or listening to industry information. 50% of the people spent 20% or more of their week reading, watching, or listening to industry information. This is from a survey series conducted Q1 2010. In a survey conducted Q2 2011, 87% of swine producers listed email as their most valuable communications tool today, with newsletters and magazine at 39% and 25%.
David Schmidt, President & CEO, International Food Information Council shares the issues and the concerns consumers have with the term "processed food". From the 2011 Annual Conference of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture, April 11 - 14, San Antonio, TX USA.
Ag and Social Media? Yes, agriculture does use social media. With 2% of Americans involved with ag food production compared to 100% of everyone eats, there is a need for farmers and ranchers to share their story: social media is a major outlet.