From: Drovers CattleNetwork
American Farm Bureau
SAN ANTONIO – Although technology has enabled farmers and ranchers to keep up with the demands of a growing world, it is increasingly under attack by consumers. According to Dr. Jayson Lusk, regent’s professor for the department of agriculture economics at Oklahoma State University, the biggest obstacle that agricultural technology must overcome is educating consumers about how it’s used. Lusk spoke to farmers and ranchers about how they can reach those consumers at a conference sponsored by Dow AgroSciences at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 95th Annual Convention.
Lusk discussed both the good and bad that has come with consumers’ growing desire to know more about how food comes to their tables. This new “food awareness” offers consumers more choices and gives farmers opportunities to develop new markets. This sudden interest, sparked by the modern consumer’s separation from farming, also leads to a vacuum of knowledge that has, more often than not, been filled by those opposed to the modern system of agriculture.
“My fear and concern is that somewhere along the way this positive marketing, trying to sell a higher-quality product, somewhere turned into fear mongering, in some cases downright denigration of modern agriculture,” Lusk said. “I really get concerned when these arguments are made on shaky science, or in my case when it is made on poor economics.”