No matter where we go, we always feel it’s important to tell the agriculture story and share our love for what we do. Last week we attended both the Wisconsin and Iowa State Fairs.
Both shows are held in the heart of urban areas and offer a great opportunity to reach out to people that don’t have any farm background. Most of the visitors have never seen a farm animal, or have only seen them at the fair. The barns in Wisconsin were packed with a constant flow of strollers and curious onlookers.
Now that our kids are getting older we want them to learn to be spokesmen for agriculture and help educate the 98% of the population that no longer has any association with farming or agriculture. So we arm them with a few facts and open up the stalls to kids and adults.
Here are the facts they shared and some of the more interesting questions we heard during our 10-day State Fair tour:
- 97% of U.S. farms are operated by families – individuals, family partnerships or family corporations.
- Farm and ranch families make up just 2% of the U.S. population.
- More than 21 million American workers (15% of the total U.S. workforce) are part of the US food chain.
- Each farmer must produce enough to feed 155 people.
We get some of the same questions every year:
“How much does she weigh, eat, poop, etc.”
But this year there were a few that made the kids stop and think about their answer:
- Could your cows survive in the wild?
- If you love them how can you keep them tied up?
- How can you eat something with such a pretty face?
- Are they organic (or grass fed) because that is better?
The kids handled these questions like pros, highlighting the benefits of eating beef and the importance of treating animals well so they are comfortable and most productive.
We are so proud of how the kids can advocate for agriculture and educate the public. They are truly becoming skilled spokesmen for the industry we love. Though it can be exhausting, the State Fair is a great place to help consumers get closer to agriculture!