The best man for the job

Hoard's Dairyman: 

The best man for the job

Date: 
Tue, 11/16/2010

This title is an often-heard phase. It tells us to select the best person to accomplish a given task. It makes sense. If you are good with numbers, work with finance. Good with your hands, choose tasks where your fingers do the work. Do you need to share with consumers how your farming operation works? The best option might be a woman!

About 14 percent of the 2.2 million American farms are operated by women. While not the majority of the workforce, they have the most in common with the key component in production agriculture – the consumer. Eighty-five percent of women claim they do most of the grocery shopping. Surveys show that when men do the shopping, they are following the food list prepared by the woman of the house.

Who is the best to align with the consumer? The best answer is someone to whom they can relate. A woman in agriculture is a businesswoman, a team member, and seen as a consumer herself. American Agri-Women recently held their annual meeting in St. Louis, Mo. A special project of theirs is starting in five states – Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, South Dakota, and Nebraska. They plan to train women in agriculture to tell their stories about small and large-scale farming in a manner that personally touches the buying public – conveying messages about how food is grown, the care of the environment in regard to food production, and consumer buying choices. The hope is to build a solid relationship between farmers and consumers because education is important, especially in cases where consumers try to drive agricultural policy issues. Visit their website or facebook page to learn more about this organization.

When consumers are asked what career profession is most trustworthy, farmers get high marks. We are honest, hard-working people who are known for our work ethic. However, trusting the information and having a warm, friendly face deliver it woman-to-woman seems to have its advantages. Maybe in this case, the best man for telling your farming story is a woman!