National Ag Image is a Concern

The last two years have been nothing but hard hits on the national image of agriculture. Michael Pollan’s string of best-sellers and emotionally captivating movies like Food, Inc., and King Corn are feeding consumers with false negative images of modern agriculture and agriculturists have had enough! Farm and public relation groups are taking an initiative to put truth into the consumer’s image of modern agriculture.

Billboards and magazine advertisements were spotted with “milk mustaches” not very long ago. The successful campaign significantly promoted the dairy image. “Milk Mustache” mastermind Tip Tipton is on board to try and bring similar positive campaigning to the entire agriculture industry.

Agriculture advocates are calling for a new “political-style campaign” and Tipton is ready to lead the way. An anticipated national launch in early 2011 will spread the message to American consumers that “modern production agriculture feeds the world cost effectively, scientifically and safely.” The campaign hopes to correct consumer misconceptions and act as a “preemptive strike against a long list of new regulations and restrictions” proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration and congress reports the Agri-Pulse.

In the last couple years, multiple small-scale image campaigns have made small steps in promoting the agriculture image. From the Corn Refiners Association’s “Sweet Surprise Learning Center,” an interactive site sharing the truth about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and the National Corn Growers Association’s “Corn Farmers Coalition” highlighting family farming to Furniture Row Racing’s “Farm American” campaign using NASCAR to spread the word about modern American Agriculture, this new image campaign is intended to be the capstone and uniting action to take agriculture into a positive promotional spotlight.

image:(Emily Taliaferro Prince)

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