Keynote Speaker Trent Loos Coaches AFR Members to Become Better Advocates for AgricultureMon, 20 Feb 2017 15:36:50 CST
Members of American Farmers & Ranchers gathered at the organization’s 112th Annual Convention in Norman, Oklahoma this past weekend. Storyteller and agricultural advocate Trent Loos appeared at the convention as the keynote speaker, sharing his ideas on how the average person can become a better advocate for agriculture. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays was there to talk with Loos before taking the stage. He offered a few of his thoughts on what it takes to effectively share the story of agriculture.
“It really comes back to one word: confidence,” Loos said. “Really I’m nothing more than a glorified cheerleader and a little bit of a confidence coach for the men and women who do it every day to tell the story.”
According to Loos, it is the very people who care for the land, protect the environment and produce our food - the farmers and ranchers - who actually feel the least qualified to tell agriculture’s story. He exclaims that is something he just doesn’t understand. The best explanation he can offer is that despite what we know and experience every day, the people within the agricultural “family” lack the necessary confidence to get out there and speak publicly about it.
He explains that in our absence, outsiders have taken our place to tell our story for us, often criticizing the practices and methods we use in our work daily.
“They don’t like what we do; the problem being they don’t know what we do,” Loos injected. “There is an entire cottage industry that has learned how to make money by selling fear.”
Referring to the anti-agricultural efforts by organizations like the Humane Society of the United State, Loos contends, ultimately, it is not the farmers that are hurt by these organization’s and their agendas, but rather the consumers.
“The person that should be jumping up and down is the working class American families that are being forced to spend more money for their daily food supply simply because the elitists of this country are making a lot of noise about what they don’t really know,” he remarked.
Loos asserts the only way to combat the negative messaging of agriculture’s enemies is to equip the average citizen with the facts and encourage them to participate in our free society.
“It’s getting that factual information to the everyday people so that they can make more informed decisions about their food supply,” Loos said. “If you really care about the future of our country, you need to start engaging more locally.”
Listen to the full exchange between Hays and Loos at AFR’s convention this past weekend about what it takes to be an effective advocate for agriculture, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below.
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