I picked up some good tips on how to talk to non-farmers about agriculture at the Precision Agriculture Summit in Jamestown, N.D.
Sarah Bedgar Wilson, who was one of the featured speakers, said to use terms that consumers understand. She farms with her husband, Jeremy, near Jamestown, and is an active agricultural advocate. Her blog is called “Farmer On A Mission.”
When trying to explain the impact their farm has on their local economy, she tells people how many places in town that they do business with. Wilson took out their local phone book and counted 50.
When describing what they produce on their grain farm, she doesn’t use bushels or hundredweight. She says they produce enough corn each year to fill 5.9 million boxes of corn flakes and enough wheat to bake 5.4 million loaves of bread. “It’s something consumers understand,” she says.
When she tries to explain to urban women why she and Jeremy use variable rate technology to apply fertilizer and seed, she says that precision farming is like how women use perfume when they go out for the evening. They don’t dump whole bottles of perfume on their heads. They put just the right amount on their wrists and neck. That’s precision farming. “Then they get what I mean,” Wilson says.
Wilson includes pictures of her kids in her blogs and sometimes a bible verse because most people want to know about her values and morals.
When they ask why she farms, she gives an honest, heartfelt answer.
“I feel called to be a steward of God’s creation,” she says.
Read her blog at http://farmeronamission.blogspot.com.