Nebraska livestock producers will be seeking ways to counter a growing negative perception of agriculture.
A recent Purdue University study disclosed that nearly half the 800 consumers surveyed report they get their annual welfare information from the Humane Society of the United States and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, groups considered unfriendly to agriculture at best, hostile at worst.
Nebraska Pork Producer President Jan Miller of Belden says producers face a real problem in getting out their message and countering the message of activist groups.
“It’s really a challenge for all farmers, whether you’re a grain operation or especially livestock, they just have so much information out there on the web, tremendously false information,” Miller tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate WNAX. “It’s really hard for us to get positive stories out there in the volume that HSUS and Peta are able to do.”
Miller says producers need to be more active in communicating with consumers.
“It goes back to, ‘Tell your story.’ You have open yourself up and put yourself out there, you know, this is what I do on my farm every day and the positive impact that you have on your community and stuff like that,” according to Miller. “That’s what each farmer needs to do, but it’s just hard to cut a time in your day to get that done.”
The Purdue report published in the Journal of Animal Science indicates the agriculture industry is considered a less reliable source of public information about animal welfare.
Jerry Oster, WNAX, contributed to this story.