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Talk With Farmers Face To Face

July 20, 2012

Many times we overlook the obvious – that personal, face to face contact. Often times social media can provide opportunities for that contact.

For example, it’s not uncommon for someone sincerely interested in how their food is produced to get an invitation from farmers on social media to visit their farms. Many like to share what we do and how we do it, and seeing a video or blog post isn’t quite the same as hands on interaction with cattle, riding in the combine or meeting heritage chickens.

 

Social media, as mentioned is just one way to meet farmers face to face. There are others! Here are a few that may be an opening for conversation:

Go to a fair or festival. Talk to exhibitors about their animals, what they do at home, and ask questions you have direct. A tip – if it’s just before the competition, it might not be the best time to get casual conversation. Showing – be it cattle, hogs, sheep, rabbits etc takes a great deal of preparation for just a few minutes in the ring. Many will be willing to talk with you during the “off” time, but remember when they are tending to animals it’s a great time to observe and ask questions when they get a break.

Farmers markets are another means of face to face interaction with farmers. Some may be small, some large, some organic, some not. It’s a great way to talk and get a variety of opinions.

If there’s an agriculture related conference make a note of the dates and go. You may be near the dairy congress or other large show – where there is competition the end result – food! – is not far from folks’ minds!¬† At the chicken and egg festival in Alabama, hand crafted items from farms were on display, and it’s a great way to see a variety of things and talk directly with the crafters, some that are farmers.

Never turn down an opportunity to talk to farmers with your questions about food and food production. They might not be polished with public relations skills, but increasingly many are interested in talking with customers, be it direct or down the food chain.

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