As soon as the final piece of Halloween candy is eaten, our attention turns to celebrating Thanksgiving. There is certainly a lot to look forward to: seeing family, delicious dinner, and of course, pumpkin pie. While we’re making our lists of what we’re thankful for this month, let’s not forget to include our consumers.
In agriculture, we frequently encourage people to “Thank a Farmer” – and with good reason. The small percentage of our population that is committed to caring for livestock and raising crops allows the rest of us the freedom to pursue other goals. We don’t have to dedicate resources to producing our own food because we know we can rely on farmers and ranchers for safe, affordable choices. That is certainly something to be thankful for, and with most grocery shoppers multiple generations removed from the farm, it doesn’t hurt to share that message.
But, where would we be in agriculture without consumers? Every time someone makes a purchase at a restaurant or grocery store, they are supporting some type of agriculture – and that is worth celebrating, too. Last fall, I remember seeing several farmers post videos thanking consumers for buying their products, and I’d love to see that trend expand and continue. Including consumers as we offer our thanks can help build positivity and goodwill surrounding the agriculture industry, which will help in developing trust.
At the Alliance, we’re spending this month sharing #WhyIThankAg on our social media channels and blog. Our definition of “ag” includes farmers and ranchers, of course – but also veterinarians, nutritionists, truckers, ag teachers, industry professionals and all of the other various careers that are part of the process of bringing food from farm to fork. That includes the folks holding those forks, too. Anyone who completes the simple act of buying or eating food – something we all do every single day – is a part of agriculture.
How does your farm or business thank and celebrate customers and/or end consumers? Do you agree that it’s something we need to do?
Editor's Note: Hannah Thompson is communications director for the Animal Agriculture Alliance. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Hannah Thompson.