Environmental impact. Animal care. Hormones. Castration. Organic vs. natural. Dehorning. Feeding. Milk. Nutrition. Safety. These words are all hot topics in our industry today, and in my travels, I'm often asked to explain some of these topics with consumers. Sometimes, they are willing to listen to my point of view. Sometimes, they are just excited to actually meet a cattle rancher. Many times, they firmly believe in a negative article they have previously read and really don't care what I have to say. However, that certainly doesn't mean I don't try.
Conversing with our customers can be scary at times, especially if you feel you don't have all the answers on the tip of your tongue. Resources such as www.explorebeef.com, the Masters of Beef Advocacy Program and BEEF's Earth Day Page can certainly make it easier to know the facts and be practiced in sharing those with others.
However, one thing I have learned through past experiences is there is often a 30-second window to make your point before the opportunity is lost. That's why I always have my business card ready to go, so they can email me further questions long after the meeting on the street.
So, what are some of the most common questions you are asked by consumers? What do you think the major concerns and issues are that we need to address? How have you handled these hot discussions in the past? What advice do you have for others in sharing the positive agriculture story? I would love to hear from you! Thanks for your participation!