Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to moderate a panel of young farmers and ranchers from across the state of Nebraska. While I had some questions ready for the farmers who donated their time to travel to Lincoln and answer questions for 2 hours, I knew those attending the panel would also have their own questions.
And have questions they did! The panelists were questioned for their take on technology, precision agriculture, where they get their information, social media and much more. However, the answers to one question stuck in my mind – “What are top concerns on your farm?”
All six panelists noted their number one concern as public perception. While the words that came out of their mouth were more specific noting concerns about their multi-generational farm not being seen as a “family farm” due to its size or worries that the technology they are using to improve resource management and conservation will be turned against them.
Concern over public perception in farming and ranching is not new and is growing. And the voice of farmers and ranchers has been a missing component in the battle against misconceptions. So, I applaud these six farmers who took time away from their work and family to openly volunteered themselves and answered real questions – a true testament for transparency.
-Kassi Williams, farmers daughter