There is no better place for agriculture to communicate our commitment to consumers than the Minnesota State Fair. From the coronation of Princess Kay to the outstanding 4-H and FFA members’ projects, the Minnesota State Fair is how we put the face on agriculture.
Farm Bureau members who spent time at the fair clearly understand that the future of Minnesota agriculture is in good hands. However, as Farm Bureau members we must remember that even though fair season is over - our job is not. Our mission “to be an advocate for agriculture driven by the beliefs and policies of our members” is not a 12-day mission. As members, we must work hard 365 days a year to communicate our commitment and connect with consumers about who we are and how we raise the food they eat.
Princess Kay of the Milky Way is one example of how agriculture can communicate our positive message to consumers. Every participant in this terrific program use their communication skills and dairy industry knowledge to help consumers better understand who we are and what we do, and we thank them for their time and talents.
Congratulations to Jeni Haler from Norwood Young America on being selected the 61st Princess Kay of the Milky Way! Jeni attends the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities where she double majors in animal science and Spanish/Portuguese studies. Jeni has the passion and understands the commitment farmers and ranchers have for our livestock, crops and the land we call home. We look forward to her spending the next year participating in public appearances, promotional events and media interviews as the face of the Minnesota dairy industry.
4-H and FFA members
Congratulations to every 4-H and FFA member, their parents and their advisors that represented agriculture at the state fair! These young people are the future of our industry. They rose to the challenge to professionally representing themselves and their communities. Minnesota Farm Bureau along with many others again participated in the 4-H Club Purple Ribbon Livestock Auction. This event demonstrates the improvements made by livestock farmers/ranchers to meet current consumer demands for leanness, meatiness, taste and nutrition as well as demonstrates the very best in animal care. A special thank you to the Minnesota Livestock Breeders’ Association, an overall organization consisting of 20 principal, state-wide, purebred livestock breed organizations of all species of livestock for sponsoring the event.
Most Americans have never set foot on a farm or ranch or even talked to the people who grow and raise the food we eat. The movie Farmland, from award-winning director, James Moll, steps inside the world of farming and ranching for a glimpse into the lives of six young farmers and ranchers who have taken responsibility for the operation of their business. By watching this great documentary, consumers learn about the high risk/high reward jobs and passion for a way of life that for many has been passed down from generation to generation. The film was made with the generous support of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) which Minnesota Farm Bureau is a member of. Learn more about the movie at Farmlandfilm.com, look for it in colleges and in digital format this fall and a classroom version and community kits in the spring of 2015.
Speak for Yourself
We must communicate our commitment with groups and organizations outside of agriculture. That is why we have an advocacy program called Speak for Yourself. No one can tell the story of ethical farming better than farmers ourselves, if you are a grain or livestock farmer, you are feeding and fueling the economy. Your family, your animals and your land mean everything to you. You care about your community and our environment. You have a great story to tell and lots of people want to hear it. If you are a Farm Bureau member and a part of an organization or group that would like to better understand farming visit firstname.lastname@example.org or call 763-273-6981.
If farmers and ranchers don’t speak for ourselves, others will, and their message is not what people need to hear. Please communicate your commitment by telling your farm story.
As a Farm Bureau member, we need your help to build and maintain the trust of our customers and the public in our products and practices. We must do a better job to communicate our commitment to produce safe food, to protect animal well-being, to safeguard our natural resources and to contribute to a better quality of life in our communities.