With less than 2% of the population being involved in American agriculture, it is now more critical than ever that we are educating the public. A couple of weeks ago, I attended a conference on reproduction, calving, and calf-care in cow-calf herds at the Vet School on the KSU campus. Dr. Dan Thompson gave a presentation and began with a story that I think explains the importance of consumer education in a society where the majority don’t know where their food comes from.
There was a rancher and a consumer talking to one another and the rancher asked if he had ever eaten cow tongue. The consumer replied, “No” and was astonished that someone would eat something from a cow’s mouth! The rancher then asked, “Have you ever eaten eggs?” “Of course”, said the consumer. The rancher began to laugh and said, “You do know where eggs come from right?”
While it is important to educate today’s consumers, I have always felt that it is equally or more important to educate the up and coming consumer – children. If we can teach these children about Agriculture at a young age, they will more than likely pass that knowledge on to their children. Also, most times when you are educating children, the parents end up getting something out of it too. This summer at our county fair, we had a Kiddy Barnyard exhibit where children could come through with their parents to look at the farm animals while also learning fun facts about agriculture. This was a free event with ice cream and take home goodie bags that had candy with farm facts on them, coloring pages, recipes for the parents, and other fun things!
Today, a little boy came out to the ranch for the day. He is the son of close family friends and lives in town. I always enjoy when he comes out for the day because he gets so excited about the little things I take for granted sometimes like, checking the cows’ water and riding in the “tractor”.
He loves rides on the “tractor” checking cows with John. He always wears his boots when he comes to the ranch!
There is always time to play…