We often hear in agricultural circles that we are preaching to the choir and sharing information amongst ourselves instead of stepping outside of our comfort zones to connect with urban consumers.
While that may be so in some cases, I believe that social media makes the farming and ranching community more accessible to the general public, more now than ever before.
Even at times where we don’t think we are having any effective reach, chances are we have a friend, neighbor, old high school classmate or another person in our social circle who is quietly reading what we have to say, “liking” or commenting on our farm/ranch pictures or gaining a better understanding or appreciation for what we do simply by default of us being transparent and sharing our stories online.
I saw this in action recently when I did a YouTube interview with my dear friend, Kelly Hogan of Zero Carb Life. Hogan is a music schoolteacher and mom of three from North Carolina. She cured her weight and infertility issues by eating a diet exclusively of meat.
This carnivore happily eats beef every single day, and it’s a diet she has followed for a decade now. She went from a size 22/24 wedding dress to a svelte size 2, and she is passionate about promoting the benefits of beef to anyone who will listen.
Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to connect with Hogan and others like her through social media, and when she asked me if I would come on her show and answer some beef production questions, I jumped at the opportunity!
Before the interview, I figured Hogan would want to talk about the link between climate change and cattle or greenhouse gas emissions from cow belches. After all, this seems to be the most common misconception we come across on social media.
However, Hogan wanted to ask me the difference between grass-fed and grain-fed beef, what’s it like to eat an animal I raised, how antibiotics are used in the livestock industry and if we should be worried about hormones.
The video has already been watched more than 8,000 times and has 130+ comments! Check it out here and let me know what you think!
I’m always incredibly excited to have the opportunity to share our production stories with a wider, more urban audience, and it’s reassuring to connect with consumers who absolutely love our product and want more of it!
I think even in spite of the negative headlines we continuously battle, the overwhelming majority of Americans really love meat and aren’t likely to curb their consumption anytime soon.
A recent article written by Michael Browne for Supermarket News highlights strong demand for meat in the United States today.
Browne writes, “During the Annual Meat Conference in Nashville held earlier this month, FMI–The Food Industry Association and the Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education, the foundation for the North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute), released their 15th annual Power of Meat study exploring consumption trends, sales growth and consumer preferences and found demand for meat is accelerating with $50.5 billion in sales for 2019.
“‘The Power of Meat is a thorough examination of consumer behavior and reflects the value of meat and poultry to retailers,’ said Julie Anna Potts, NAMI president and CEO. ‘The survey affirms the ongoing work of the industry to improve trust in animal protein is welcomed by consumers and useful to retailers.’”
The survey explored meat department sales trends, the growing plant-based meat alternatives market, time-saving solutions and how they are driving meat sales, the popularity of production claims for those wanting to make healthful and ethical living purchases, how promotional ads and signage boost sales and which cuts remain the most popular with consumers.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.