There is a groundswell of support spanning rural America to protect our freedoms and liberties in this country.
I have a surge of optimism about the future of food, energy and production agriculture after seeing the outpouring of love, generosity, enthusiasm and steady leadership that arose in response to Colorado’s proclaimed, “Meat Out Day.”
When Colorado Governor Jared Polis encouraged residents to go meatless on March 20, the response was immediate.
Shortly after, word spread about a proposed ballot initiative in Colorado called the Protect Animals from Unnecessary Suffering and Exploitation (PAUSE) Act, which would essentially gut animal agriculture and eliminate meat, dairy and eggs from the dinner table in swift order.
We could have used the old cancel culture playbook. Instead we opted for positivity, for making our communities a better place, for promoting and purchasing our product and for sharing facts and great stories about who we are and what we do in animal agriculture.
Over the weekend, my social media feed was filled with photos of community gatherings, grill-outs, steak feeds and food drives. We saw the flag proudly waving. We heard music playing while laughter filled rodeo arenas and parks.
We saw beef on the plate, in grocery carts, on the grill, in the smoker and being enjoyed by families across the country.
Folks stood united and said, enough is enough. The government should not pick winners and losers in production agriculture, nor should they dictate what free Americans choose to eat.
What’s more, politicians, celebrities and the media may think they have influence over these decisions that individuals make, but the reality is, unless they force it on the masses, synthetic meat simply can’t or won’t compete with the real deal — BEEF.
My heart filled with joy and hope as I saw events taking place and people sharing stories about how cattle benefit the land and how meat is a nutritious part of a healthy diet.
I wish I could have been at every event, but back at home, my family held a fundraiser through my agriculturally-based retail business and raised enough money to purchase 1,700+ meat and cheese sticks for our town’s weekend snack pack program, which provides snacks for students who qualify for free and reduced lunches within the public school system.
We proudly made this donation with the help of our wonderful customers, and we are excited to add a protein-rich snack to the weekend offerings for these young people.
Now that the buzz from Meat In Day has subsided, the big question is — where do we go from here?
I believe we need to keep this forward momentum. We cannot take our foot off the gas in sharing our stories, advocating for our livelihoods, in fighting for freedom of choice in the grocery store, and in countering negative ballot initiatives and regulatory burdens that seek to put us out of business and take meat off the dinner table.
We have our work cut out for us. And yes, I know this battle is an uphill one. But if we all pull our own weight, and we work together as a team, I believe the truth will prevail, and I believe the customer will happily and excitedly continue to enjoy our products.
Let’s get to work to make everyday Meat In Day!
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.