The farm to consumer divide is huge.
Consumers driving food trends lack the familiarity of agriculture - how food is produced - observed in previous generations. Today's consumer has no idea how food gets from the field to the table and this ever-growing educational gap is fueling some pretty serious food fights.
Agriculture influencers and leaders readily champion "telling the story of ag" as an effective solution for the farm to consumer divide and its impending implications on the agriculture industry. However, "telling the story of ag" is a pretty general, and somewhat overwhelming, recommendation for busy industry professionals.
I recently attended my first AgChat Foundation Conference – Cultivate and Connect. Held December 8th – 9th in Kansas City, Missouri, the AgChat Conference lived up to the promise of empowering “farmers, ranchers, and agriculturalists with the tools to share their stories to consumers – on social media, one-on-one connections and at the legislative level”.
With a speaker line-up that read like the Who’s Who’s of the agriculture industry, and socially savvy attendees from all over the world, AgChat 2016 was truly a must-attend event for anyone invested in the agricultural sphere.
The divide between farmers and the consumers has never been this large. No generation in the history of America has been so far removed from the farm, than that of today’s Millennial and Gen Z consumers. With the average age of America’s farmers pushing 58, and Millennials (ages 18-35), the gap between farm and table is equivocal to the spread of Grand Canyon.
The majority of today’s consumers don’t understand food animal life cycles, husbandry techniques, or production demands (GMO’s anyone?).
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