Meredith: Millennials, the “greener” generation?

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The millennial generation is concerned about “causes” and one of their favorites is having a sustainable environment. Last week, the Clinton Global Initiative, in conjunction with Microsoft, released the results of a poll aimed to identify millennials’ top priorities. The release of the poll results coincided with the Clinton Global Initiative University conference at Arizona State University, where students from across the country gathered to focus on global issues, including climate change, education and food security. According to the poll, millennials say they are more focused on the environment than their parents’ generation, 76% to 24%. More than 66% of millennials... View Expert Column Post »

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Meredith: Women in ag are "leaning in"

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I’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately, and in an effort to keep from climbing the walls of the airplanes that lack in-flight wifi (Yes, “Hi my name is Emily and I’m addicted to my email”), I’ve been reading some books that have been on my “must read” list for far too long. I dove headfirst into Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead. Sandberg, formerly of Google and now the COO of Facebook, discusses the importance of women in the workforce and how more women must “lean in” and rise through the ranks of corporate... View Expert Column Post »

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Mitigating Millennial Mayhem

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You may have heard that 2014 was declared the “Year of the Family Farmer” by the United Nations. Well, if 2014 is the year of the family farmer, then it’s also the year of the Millennial--as will be 2015, and 2016 and likely 2020. Move over Baby Boomers, the Millennials are taking over. That shift will potentially change the food system as we know it--and it’s a trend that’s here to stay. Millennials, or the generation born between 1982 and 2001, have had (and will continue to have) a profound effect on grocery markets, restaurant trends and food production as we... View Expert Column Post »

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Tackle the tough issues

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It’s time for producers to proactively talk about the things consumers want to know about, even if – or especially – if it’s a sensitive topic. A few weeks ago I spoke at the Missouri Governor’s Conference on Agriculture. I was asked to speak about communications. I told the audience all about the Alliance’s mission to proactively engage with new audiences, and correct misinformation spread by animal rights activists like Paul Shapiro of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), whom I talked about in my blog post earlier this week. I told the audience that when I get a... View Expert Column Post »

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When your cousin goes vegan

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I started noticing it six, or so, months ago: some particularly “veggie heavy” recipes in the annual family exchange, a few Pinterest posts tagging “Meatless Mondays.” It was a slow build, but soon enough my teenage cousin was visiting my family, sitting at my mother’s Sunday table and refusing bacon: “I’m a vegetarian.” “Excuse me, what?” It’s true, came the reply—she’s sworn off turkey on Thanksgiving, her beloved ham roll-ups, burgers, hot dogs, and of course, bacon. The only silver lining is that she’s still eating cheese (otherwise I don’t know if our home state of Wisconsin would ever forgive her!). My cousin... View Expert Column Post »

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Meredith: My hope for ag in 2014: Christmas Jammies

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My husband has been trying to cheer me up for the last week. You see, I've been pretty much bedridden (after a bad fall — don't worry it's only temporary!) — alone at home; just me, our pug and my laptop. It's been pretty frustrating for a workaholic like me who doesn't like to be kept down. A couple days ago, an email from my hubby pinged into my inbox--inside was a video that had just gone viral. It was of the Holderness Family’s annual Christmas newsletter--done in video form. The video is ridiculous, heartwarming, clever, unique all rolled into one.... View Expert Column Post »

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Meredith: Has PETA gone too far? It’s not even a question

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It’s Thanksgiving again--and you know what that means; a beautiful, cornbread-stuffed turkey with all the fixings, traveling to be with family and friends, and giving thanks for a year’s worth of blessings. But it also means that those of us--like the staff here at the Animal Agriculture Alliance--wait with baited breath for the inevitable barrage of anti-Thanksgiving rhetoric from animal rights groups like PETA. While perusing what has quickly become one of my favorite news websites for information and inspiration, the new Huffington Post Food for Thought (brought to you in part by “Big Burrito” aka Chipotle), I came across an animated... View Expert Column Post »

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Blog: Farmers - not activists - feed the world

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In many ways, America is the land of plenty. This is certainly the case when it comes to food--most Americans are lucky enough to have an abundance of choices at the grocery store. But for 1 in 6 people in the United States, America is not the land of plenty. Last month was National Hunger Awareness month, and for the millions of Americans struggling with food insecurity, hunger is a reality that is not confined to small pockets of society, certain areas of the country, or certain demographics. We hear a lot about the global food crisis that’s coming in 2050--how we’ll... View Expert Column Post »

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Meredith: Do backyard chicken coops put the "fun" in farming?

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Do backyard chicken coops put the “fun” in farming? Apparently not. Despite visions of quaint coops, happy birds and cheap eggs, the growing trend of raising backyard chickens in urban settings is backfiring, as disillusioned city dwellers, eco-enthusiasts and hipsters are running from their coops as fast as their Birkenstocks can carry them. Over the last several months, there have been dozens of articles written about how hundreds of chickens are being abandoned at the nation’s shelters from California to New York as naïve urbanites discover that—surprise, surprise—farming is actually hard work and takes a lot more knowledge and skill than they... View Expert Column Post »

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Meredith: Are we overreacting?

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I had the privilege this week to speak to a group from Georgia comprised of leaders in agriculture. After I was done with my little schpeal, a very astute gentleman asked me pointedly, “Emily, don’t you just think we’re overreacting?” It’s a good question—are these questions from consumers, this turmoil about food, and the activist group campaigns against animal ag just a trend that will soon fall by the wayside? Golly, I hope so. Do I think that’s likely? No. So are we overreacting? I don’t think so. Granted, I overreact to things probably 20 times a day. From a misplaced article... View Expert Column Post »

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Emily Meredith
Emily Meredith | Emily Meredith serves as the Communications Director for the Alliance and manages all aspects of the communications strategy. She is responsible for the Issues Management Committee and coordinating effective responses to the issues of the industry.


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