GROW Podcast

Sharing Farmer Stories Helps Rural Iowa

GROW Podcast April 11 Website 041123

In this week’s podcast, Ashley and Iowa Farm Bureau’s Andrew Wheeler, talk about the gap that has grown between grower and consumer, how farmers can restore trust by being transparent and share their work, and where education can fill in the gap. Andrew brings 10 years of experience in public relations and telling stories of Iowa agriculture. 

Andrew and IFB are working with farmers to discuss what transparency techniques work best to display how farmers do their jobs. 

If farmers aren’t the ones to tell the story of agriculture today, someone else will, and it might not be the story we want to tell. If we are going to build trust in agriculture, farmers are best position to do so.

Andrew Wheeler, Iowa Farm Bureau

Even if that story is sharing the rich history of a family farm or something as mundane as showing how to clean a piece of equipment — the open platform of collective sharing narrows the jump the consumer needs to make between them and their farmer. 

There’s trust that’s been lost between consumer and grower for a multitude of reasons. However, it’s up to farmers to build that trust back. Transparency is the most valuable aspect of communicating to consumers. Farmers from all areas of America are taking to social media to tell their stories of the origins of their farm and how they care for their animals. 

It’s easy to “blame media,” and its coverage of the ag industry. The skewed frame of how consumers see ag is based on what’s put in front of them. Since the introduction of industrial farming practices, and the lack of sharing from growers, there’s been little for consumers to base their knowledge of ag on. 

Although ten percent of US jobs are ag-related, seven percent of Americans think chocolate milk comes from brown cows. While we may laugh at that stat, it shows there’s a major disconnect between where consumers think their food comes from and how they view the ag industry. 

Step up and share! We have amazing stories to tell. Support your fellow farmer and neighbor by building an audience.

Andrew Wheeler, Iowa Farm Bureau
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