Workers in the agricultural industry often have trouble communicating with the media and the general public. They say this is one of the causes why they are slow or unable to respond to concerns and issues related to their industry.
Cyberbully attacks against livestock farmers from vegan activists, campaigns that market plant-based “meats” as superior products, usage of GMOs and pesticides, and modern farming practices were among the most common concerns raised to farmers in which they were not sure how to respond.
Farming Smarter hosted the Speak Up! Communication Workshop. The event, which was organized by Farm & Food Care was held to give workers in the industry an opportunity to learn to raise their voices in situations where false social media turns into consumer truth, as well as learn effective ways to communicate with the media and general public.
Cherilyn Jolly-Nagel, who facilitated the event said that consumers have raised their interest in how their food is grown and produced, but have a low trust in the farming industry due to technological advances. She says that many people who raise their voices on social media are doing so in reaction to information that is spread by special interest groups, and that members of the agriculture sector need to respond with the right words when difficult or inaccurate claims are raised.