Sunday, February 12, 2012

Farming For The Future

Arthur took a couple of days last week to attend the Farming For The Future Conference of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture held in State College. It was an exhilirating experience! He brought home a renewed spirit and lots of new knowledge. He also brought home recordings of some of the speeches that particularly moved him.
Brian Snyder, Executive Director of PASA, entitled his speech "Standing On The Shoulders of Giants" (and no, he was not referring to the Jolly Green Giant!) and I am excerpting a bit of his speech here:
 “. . . an industry-led group called the USFRA, which stands for the US Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, that burst onto the scene this past summer pledging to spend $30M/year 'to lead the dialogue on how food is grown and raised in America' according to Bob Stallman, who chairs the USFRA and is also president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. ...
“In a training presentation acquired by some friends and forwarded to me, I was astounded to find that this new organization is advising farmers to talk with the public regarding just about everything except for how they farm. One slide in particular advises them to avoid what they called “language landmines” and technical “process-oriented” language.
“That same slide is specific in recommending that farmers not use words like Technology, Innovation, GMOs, Antibiotics, Hormones, Pesticides, Fertilizer and Nitrogen. On another slide they talk about ditching the technical talk and, instead, using language that is more “natural,” including words like preventing, nurturing, resilient, healthy and – this is the kicker – better tasting.
“They recommend that farmers not talk about big, lofty ideas like feeding the world anymore, and also emphasize the need to adopt a strategy of continuous improvement, which is something they rather directly ripped off from the language of sustainable certification.
“So here is the gist of the good advice for farmers from the USFRA . . . don’t talk to consumers about what you’re doing on your farms; ask them how they feel about their food.”
We're more than happy to talk to you about how we farm - in fact we encourage you to talk to us and no topics are off limits! In my experience with the other growers in our Potter County Growers group, I find it's hard to shut us up when we're talking food!

Arthur will be sharing more about the PASA Conference in future blog posts and if you'd like to read Brian Snyder's entire speech, here's the link:

Here's another link that tells you more about the USFRA.

Don't forget to hop over to Homestead Revival!


Anonymous said...

Keep up your forward thinking and doing.
W. Metzger

Anonymous said...

I know, I know! When customers ask these USFRA farmers how they grow their crops, they can play the video below. That way they don't have to mention the genetically modified organisms (GMOs)and the fact that they are slowly poisoning the consumers through the use of chemical pesticides!

Anonymous said...

Here is another one of those articles about the USFRA so called experts teaching farmers how to communicate with consumers. You're right it shouldn't take experts to teach us how to describe "how we grow our crops on our farms."