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Monday, February 15, 2010

Telling my story through social media

A few days ago I decided to take a new approach to the disagreement between Agriculture and Animal rights, which I outlined in an earlier post. To sum it up: I want to share my story with those that may have little to no contact with agriculture, other than the view from media and entertainment. I want to start this dialogue specifically with supporters of Animal rights groups like HSUS and PETA.

Utilizing social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, I have been searching out groups and fan pages where I can post interesting facts, information, or ask for questions about livestock production. It is imperative to have a civil and polite manner in approaching these situations. It's OK to show disagreement, but it must be done in a civil manner. Animal rights issues are a touchy subject and at the first notion of argument or putting down, someone might decide not to listen.

I have made contact with a few people whom are members of HSUS and PETA Facebook groups and animal rights supporters on Twitter. Some of these are willing to start a conversation about their views of animal agriculture. Others disregard my comments. I have even made contact with a few livestock producers from my area and across the country.Unfortunately I was blocked on the HSUS Facebook Fan page, not real sure why because I was careful not to put anything condescending on my posts. But it's not about taking on this large organization. It's about sharing my story with those that may not have had contact with agriculture before.

The editor of Working Ranch magazine, Tim O'byrne, noticed my comments on their FB page and contacted me for more on the topic. I was encouraged to learn of his interest in my suggestion, and he is putting a write-up on my idea in their next edition of the magazine. So be sure to look for it, and if you are not receiving the subscription, please look for it. It's plum full of great articles and stories from producers all over the nation.

While I may not persuade the die-hard vegans to sit down with a juicy rib-eye, or the President of PETA to join in with us for a cattle roundup, I hope that the least I do is let others become more informed about the hard work by American ranchers to provide a safe, quality world food supply. I want to encourage you to do the same. I am not asking you to defend all of Animal Agriculture, but simply become an Agvocate for your cause. Share your personal story with someone that may show interest in learning about animal agriculture. They are out there, all you have to do is look. You never know when you talk to that one person that could make a huge difference.

Stay tuned, because I will keep updating this blog with my journey of sharing my story of being a young cattleman.