The animal agriculture community has been up in arms recently about Chipotle’s latest marketing stunt -- a video series entitled, “Farmed and Dangerous.” The humorous series uses modern animal agriculture as the target, and an exploding cow is the punchline.
Richard Cornett, Western Plant Health Association director of communications, recently wrote an opinion piece for Western Farm Press entitled, “Chipotle Ads Disgraceful To Farmers Everywhere.”
“The most horrifying aspect of Chipotle’s ad campaign is that those people who have little connection to their food and lack knowledge about how it is produced may actually believe these gross misrepresentations. They will never know the pride, skill and countless hours spent by our nation’s agricultural producers in delivering to consumers the highest quality and safest food on the planet.”
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Of course, there are differing opinions on this subject. Last week, a reader urged me to take a different perspective regarding Chipotle. Read that letter here.
This week, I received a great suggestion from BEEF Daily reader and California cattleman Jessie Larios. He suggests another tactic in dealing with the naysayers to our industry. He says we should vote with our dollars (and urge consumers to do the same) by supporting companies that are pro-agriculture. Culver’s is a great example of just such a company.
On Facebook, Larios writes, “For too long, the agriculture community has been upset at the ungrateful way Chipotle portrays animal agriculture. This weekend, I drove by a billboard sign that read, ‘Thank you, farmers,’ which was put up by the Culver’s fast food chain. Let’s not play to negativities. Let’s all spread the positive messages Culver’s gives us. For this I say to Culver’s, ‘My pleasure. You are welcome.’”
The Culver's “Thank You, Farmers” campaign isn’t the first time the burger chain has supported the agricultural community. You might recall its campaign to thank farmers last summer. For every thank-you letter sent to one of the beef and dairy producers who help to raise the beef and ice cream Culver’s serves, the restaurant promised $1 to the National FFA organization.
I think we need to compile a list of pro-animal agriculture companies, so that we can support those who support us rather than just call out those that foment food fears to pad their bottom line. Help me compile that list. Which companies, celebrities and businesses are pro-ag? List your favorites in the comments section below.
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