I have the privilege of much time in the tractor with all of the snow we are receiving this winter. When our winter grass is covered in snow and the mercury drops, cattle eat much more hay than normal. All of this time in the tractor leads to catching up on all the current music.
Most days I am a fan of the Country Stations, some lead me to Classic Country, and others Classic Rock stations. No matter what music mood I am in for the day, each station reports on the latest weather conditions and each has plenty of commentary. More often than not, I hear many comments of appreciation for transportation officials and law enforcers braving the winter weather, but never a mention of farmers or ranchers caring for their livestock.
While feeding hay in the snow the other day, I decided to take it upon myself to remind radio listeners about the farmers and ranchers braving the winter conditions. After all, this would be a great opportunity to advocate for the cause and remind consumers about the hard work behind producing their food.
I first called KSSN 95.7, the Country music station in Little Rock. The mid-day DJ was on-duty and gave me an unexpected response. “Hey, I would like to thank everyone braving the winter conditions on the roads today, including the farmers and ranchers working hard to care for their livestock. After all, they are the ones that produce the milk and bread we picked up at the grocery this week.” His response, “Yeah man, they’re are just taking care of their money.” My comments were never aired.
A little disheartened in my idea, I picked up the phone and called KWCK 99.9, a Country station near home in a town of 18,000. The morning DJ was on duty. I recited the same line, not knowing what response would be next. To my relief the DJ said, “I am glad you bring that up. Yeah we do need to thank those guys, because without them our tables would be empty.” I was very gracious when my comments were aired, and listeners were reminded of the hard work from farmers and ranchers on that snowy morning.
Whether the difference in response was from personal opinion of the DJ’s or size of the radio market, one thing was shown through my efforts – it is possible to advocate for agriculture in many situations. Despite a small rejection in my efforts to inform consumers about agriculture, I carried on and tried again. Rejection is something we will all encounter if we try hard enough to advocate for agriculture.
Next time severe weather hits your area, try following my example. Call a local radio station and give thanks to farmers and ranchers for their hard work in all weather conditions. In the process maybe we can raise agriculture awareness.
Have you ever encountered negative feedback or rejection when trying to educate consumers about food production and agriculture? Let me know about it.