Is agricultural advocacy a goal of yours for 2017? If not, it should be. In between feeding cattle, calving cows, thawing out waterers, paying bills and taking care of the kids and grandkids, making connections with consumers should be at the top of every food producer’s list of things to accomplish in the new year.
Because without our consumer, we have no demand. Without demand, we have no business. Without our businesses, rural America becomes a ghost of the past. And it all starts with bridging the gap, correcting misinformation and changing public sentiment toward farmers and ranchers to a more positive outlook.
So how do we achieve this goal in 2017?
Last week, a friend of mine posted an image on Facebook of a coffee mug along with the hashtag, #cattletales. Intrigued, I complimented her on the fun mug, which features a colorful, artistic cow on its side, and I wondered how I could get my hands on one. Every beef blogger should have a cow mug, right?
Shortly after, the folks from The 4C Summit contacted me. Turns out, the mug is a promotion for its upcoming event, which will be held in Tucson on April 30-May 3, 2017. Hosted by Elanco and Micro Technologies, The 4C Summit, which stands for collaboration, challenges, connections and commitment, is an event created for Elanco and Micro Technologies customers together. The annual meeting is geared for owners and managers of feedyards and dairies. The mission is to efficiently grow safe, affordable and wholesome beef and milk.
Not only does the event aspire to promote better stewardship, but it also encourages attendees to become better advocates. The 4C Summit hosts graciously sent me one of those cattle mugs, along with a booklet they will hand out to attendees. Titled, “A feedyard and dairy operator’s 365 Day tips, tricks and ideas to help you share your #cattletales,” the booklet offers suggestions for social media posts and other advocacy ideas to better share our agricultural stories.
For example, the tip for Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017, read, “What’s on your plate today? Are you having beef or dairy for dinner? Snap a photo of your food and share why you work every day to make sure our plates and bellies are full!”
Are you intrigued? I sure was. Want to get involved? I know I do!
Although not everyone can attend the 4C Summit, anyone in agriculture can join the movement by using the #cattletales hashtag. By using #cattletales in your tweets and posts, you can become a part of the Cattletales community, which allows others to easily find, follow and share your stories.
BEEF readers, I challenge all of you to join me in using the #cattletales hashtag in 2017. Set a goal to post something new each week about your life on the ranch. If you’re not sure what to post — it could be a beef fact, a ranch video or photo, or a recipe — check out 4CSummit.com/images for helpful resources and shareable images.
I applaud Elanco and Micro Technologies for actively working to bridge the gap between producers and consumers. Let’s make this our best year of advocacy efforts yet!
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Penton Agriculture.