Summit Highlights Need to Bridge the Divide
The need to bridge the urban-rural divide to help the average consumer understand today's agricultural practices was a key topic addressed at the Animal Agriculture Alliance's 11th annual Stakeholders Summit Wednesday. Attendees heard about innovative new ways organizations are working to share the importance of agriculture with the public. The 10-thousand square foot exhibit "Today's Agriculture" on display at the 2012 Pennsylvania Farm Show is one example. PennAg Industries Association brought visitors face-to-face with modern farm practices and let them get answers to their questions straight from the farmer. Indiana Pork Executive Director Mike Platt says open communication and transparency with the public are important. Platt is the President of Fair Oaks Farms' new "Pig Adventure" organizing board. Once completed - the 26-hundred sow operation will celebrate the core message that pork producers care. He says the goal is to protect and maintain producer choice while promoting an honest dialogue with visitors to the farm who are eager to learn more about where their food comes from.
Summit speakers also emphasized the need to open the barn doors to media. Media outlet representatives shared experiences and strategies to help agriculture build relationships with reporters through open, honest communication. Janie Gabbett of Meatingplace encouraged attendees to actively tell their stories and be proactive.
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