"Agriculture and Public Relations"

Texas A&M’s Beef Cattle Short Course is nationally and internationally recognized as the largest attended beef cattle educational program of its type in the world. This year, one of the issues addressed was the lack of any voice or spokesman for the agriculture industry as a whole, and the need for individual producers to be involved in getting agriculture’s message to the consumer. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

"There is a culture now within the non-farm society, I’m talking about New York, Chicago, the media urban culture, that has now forty years of looking in a negative light at what happens on a farm."

This is part of the discussion that took place during this year’s Beef Short Course at Texas A&M.

"We have to quit being passive in our industry. We’ve taken what’s been thrown at us for years, and you don’t have to be aggressive and mean about it, but we have to start defending what we do and explaining what we do."

Ron Gill is an Agri-life Extension livestock specialist.

"The Humane Society of the United States, they are known as the go to person for animal issues. Why in the world would someone outside our industry be the spokesman for our industry? We have to develop that spokesman, have that go to person, in our industry."

Dan Hale is an Agri-life Extension meat specialist.

"It’s a real live person that’s taking care of these animals. It’s not some machine, or some corporation, they’re individual people who’s livelihood depends on the land and the animals that they produce, and their goal is they want to produce the healthiest, happiest animals, because they know that the healthy, happy, those animals that are not stressed, are the animals that will produce the best."

Alex Avery is the director of research and education for the Hudson Institute Center For Global Food Issues.

"I think we have had the luxury of being silly about food, about food safety, being irrational about that, and we’ve been the same way on energy in this country and in a number of other areas, where the costs of the silliness weren’t high enough to cause people to look more rationally at an issue."

The Ag Industry is making plans to continue the discussion. I’m Joe Brown, taking a look at Brazos Valley agriculture, From The Ground Up.

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