Social media is a very powerful tool. It can be used to sway people in a positive manner and it can be used to convey negative messages.
If you are someone trying to promote agriculture the number one thing you can do to turn away consumers is to bully them or to use scare tactics. Saying things like if the city folks don’t start respecting the agriculture community the city kids will end up starving to death because the farmers are going to disappear.
So this led me to think about some of the things the city folks use that the rural folks use as well. The biggest thing that came to my mind is grocery stores. I would bet you would be hard pressed to find one farmer who produces 100% of all the products they use or need in their day to day life.
Here are a few items I thought about off the top of my head. Toothpaste, toilet paper, clothes from cotton, fruits, veggies, meats, cereal, milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, wheat flour, bread, peanut butter, jelly, beer, whiskey, wine, makeup, laundry soap, pillows, blankets, shoes and the list goes on.
These are all products that without the farmers none of us would have access too. Whether you are a vegan or a meat eater, or if you live in the city or you live on a farm a majority of us use a lot of these products every day.
Now of course some farmers do raise their own meat or dairy products just as some city folks grow many of their own vegetables or produce their own eggs. But the point is that if the city folks are to starve because all the farmers disappear it’s likely that many of the rural communities will also suffer along with the city folks.
So again instead of shaming the city folk, let’s work together as one, without consumers you don’t need producers, without producers you won’t have consumers. The two groups go hand in hand a lot more than some people like to give credit too, and yes I am talking about both sides of the aisle.
Maybe if you have a large social media following you can use your presence to help consumers and agriculture producers realize that both sides have a lot in common and help drive the understanding that we need each other and that not one group is more important than the other group. Using your large social media presence in a positive way will go so much further than shaming a particular group. Just like the old saying, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
And for the consumers, it’s okay to thank a farmer, most do work very hard to raise the food and products we all need to sustain our city lifestyle. And you can always ask a farmer questions about what it is they do and why, a majority of them will be thrilled to talk to you. You will find farmers are not all that different than us non farmers.