Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pork and PR

We get a lot of publications at our house that feature many, many pictures of pig balls. Get your mind out of the gutter! These are serious publications that include ads from boar studs (a boar stud is exactly what you think it is) that are showing the males they have for sale.

We also get a number of earnest publications put together by the Pork Producers Council and the Farm Bureau featuring swine manure management strategies or perhaps stories about farmers and how they plant the exact grasses in their pasture to maximize the digestive process of their goats (an actual story that I read).

The point I'm getting to is that in looking over the farm literature that comes into the house daily I'm starting to see a trend. Farmers, at least when talking to each other, are tired of lying back and letting others shape their image.

I participated in my first #agchat on Twitter tonight. For two hours, I watched over 130 tweets roll in from people all over the world who are concerned about the image of agriculture and the way certain groups have gotten ahead of us in framing a conversation based on emotion rather than the science most farmers are more comfortable with.

I helped Husband tweet about the Ohio Pork Tour, a print, Web, YouTube campaign to show that Ohio's pig farmers are real people who care about the environment, taking good care of their hogs, and supporting their families. As a PR person and a hog farmer, I find this to be an interesting campaign at an opportune time. I encourage you to check it out.

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