Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Value of Perception, Farmers vs Urbanites

As I was driving to work this beautiful almost Spring morning, I saw a cow outside of a barn and remembered a comment and discussion from last week's Ag conference. It was during a break out session conducted by Michele Payn-Knoper an advocate for agriculture. It went something like this, one man said during a group discussion, "it's just common sense that if you mistreat an animal that you are not going to get optimal performance out of them. Why would we mistreat our animals when our livelihood depends on them? Common sense dictates that you don't abuse your source of income. The happier the animals are, the better they produce" ...... I replied yes that is true and it is common sense to you and I, but it is not to many of the people who have never lived on a farm. The non-Ag sector of the population do not have that frame of reference and rely on the propaganda from PETA, HSUS and the other 25 anti -Ag groups out there. That was when one woman joined in and confirmed my comment by saying "I recently married a farmer, but I grew up in an urban setting, so what may seem like common sense to a farmer, isn't what urbanites believe to be true." Another woman said, yes as a nursing mom, "if I am stressed, it affects my breast feeding! I never thought of it that way before."

Anyway, my point is that every one's point of reference and what they think is just plain ole common sense is not that way at all. So one more reason to just talk to people, explain what we do, why we do things in a particular way and get a conversation going. Otherwise these very same people have no one to tell them that these anti-Ag groups are full of the "end product from a cow"... =)