Consumers generally see farmers as hard working independent souls – ones they admire. But they are bombarded with negative media images of animal cruelty, food safety crises, stream pollution, as well as the grim specter of “factory farms” and “corporate farms”.
That was one of the issues discussed in a visit with Pennsylvania Farm Bureau President Carl Shaffer early this week. As Shaffer pointed out, we in agriculture don’t condone “bad actors” such as the Ohio dairy employee who battered dairy calves on hidden camera or the “half-billion bad eggs” entrepreneur from Iowa.
Then as I was driving in Maryland yesterday, I saw two grain trucks labeled with a name that hundreds of non-farmers have mentioned to me – Lippy Brothers, of Hampstead, Md. This multi-generation family has a rock-solid reputation, and their business is large. It has to be because they have many mouths to feed.
My point? They’re perceived as farmers, not a “factory farm” or a “corporate farm”, even though they’re incorporated.
Bringing it home
Many farms add the abbreviations for their business structure to the end of their names on signage – LLC, Inc., and etc. Why? When it comes to your signage, nobody really needs to know what your business structure is.
On the other hand, it can be very good for your business to promote “brothers”, “family”, “family farm”, “farming (producing food) since 19xx”. That’s the good will message that travels well on trucks, trailers, pickups, even tractors and wagons.
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