Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Get the Facts.

Every day, consumers are bombarded with information about the food raised by farmers and ranchers, and unfortunately, it is often untrue or biased information. Do you want to know where to go for honest information about agriculture? Here are a few of my favorite places.

Youtube. How better to learn about what farmers and ranchers are doing than seeing it firsthand? Try these channels which highlight the truth about the ag industry and answers to your most common questions:
Beef Pasture to Plate offers a great variety of informative videos, on topics from the environment to cattle welfare.
My Beef Checkoff  is the channel representing the US Beef Checkoff, a National Cattlemen's Beef Association project. The videos showcase beef producers from all over the United States telling their stories.

Websites. There seems to be a website for everything, so here are a couple to check out next time you want to learn about farming, ranching, or beef products.
For great information on Canadian beef, including nutrition, recipes, and food safety, check out the Beef Information Centre site.
The "Consumers" section of the Alberta Beef Producers website also has some great statistics, recipes, and information on educational programs in your area.

Talk to a Farmer.  Check out a local fair or agricultural show or expo in your area and have a conversation with a farmer. Farmers and ranchers want you to know that they're raising the best product they can for you, and that they care about their animals. 

Facebook. Facebook is no longer just a tool for teenagers. It is being treated as a serious form of media by many groups and companies. A few worth checking out:
I Love Agriculture- mostly geared towards Canadian and specifically Albertan agricultural events, but a great reference for where to go to meet farmers and ranchers.
Canadian Beef- This page is great about updating with interesting information and recipes. It's managed by the Beef Information Centre.

Twitter. Although just a Twitter newbie myself, I'm quickly discovering how easy it is to network and gather information. All you have to do is type in keywords, like "beef" or "ag facts" and there are dozens of pages to follow. Follow me on twitter at rotempleton! 

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