Alexis Taylor said while many in the farming community don’t like to brag about their life on the farm, she said the agriculture community must work to connect with those not familiar with farming. The Director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture said it’s especially important with fewer and fewer people connected to farming.
“I grew up on a farm, and 150 years ago 90% of America lived in rural parts of the state, today, 10% do. You no longer grew up on a farm or had your parents grow up on a farm, maybe now you have a distant aunt has a farm. So that might be the only connection someone has and maybe someone doesn’t even have that connection anymore in an urban area.”
With growing distrust of farming and a lot of misinformation on-line, Taylor acknowledges providing an accurate depiction of American farming in 2019 can be extremely difficult; in fact she calls it the $50 million question. At the ODA she said they work to tell the story via social media.
“We are very closely connected with our producers and stakeholder groups on really amplifying doing what you love, that Ag is cool, that there are a lot of really exciting jobs for people in agriculture. Yes it’s farming and ranching but there’s a lot of other things that are tied to it. And we need bright, young, excited people as well to come work in agriculture.”
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