Red Meat Mafia dedicated to educating consumers with T-shirts
October 1, 2013
Earlier this summer, a new organization made some waves. Called the Red Meat Mafia (RMM), the organization sent t-shirts with catchy agricultural designs on them to industry leaders across the country. The shirts were courtesy of RMM, but the people behind the company are a mystery.
On the RMM website, the individuals say, "It's not about who we are…it's what we're about…The Red Meat Mafia Family loves agriculture, having fun and believes it is critical that those of us in agriculture connect with people everyday about food production. Our goal has always been to share the story of America's farming and ranching families with consumers while having fun! The Red Meat Mafia apparel line is a product of that goal. We want our clothes to help start conversations about agriculture. If someone notices your Red Meat Mafia apparel, take that opportunity to visit with them about agriculture! You may be wondering who we are, but that doesn't matter right now. What matters most is sharing the story of agriculture. The Family is always impressed by people in the agriculture community that are doing their part to promote agriculture. Keep up the good work and remember, we are watching. – Red Meat Mafia"
Describing themselves as the "Family," a mystic intrigue surrounds the RMM and while many are curious about who is behind their great work, the hope is that the message they are trying to spread about farmers and ranchers will grow, even if their identity stays secret. Recently, two members of the group were revealed – Troy and Stacy Hadrick, owners of Advocates for Agriculture in Faulkton, S.D. Troy Hadrick explains their involvement with RMM and the mission of the organization.
"RMM was started by a small group of people who work in agriculture," he said. "We were asked early on by the Family to get involved. They approached us to help because of the agricultural advocacy efforts we've helped with in the past, and we were excited to be part of it. There were two main goals of RMM. First, we wanted to say thank you to several people for the work they have done to help share the story of agriculture. They each received a shirt and a personalized letter to show our appreciation. The other goal was to create another way for farmers and ranchers to help start a conversation about agriculture. We really feel that one-on-one conversations with consumers is the best way to share our story, and hopefully these shirts can be part of that. The clever and unique designs of these shirts have really stimulated some great conversations."
The t-shirts are available for both men and women and have creative phrases like "Moo University" and "Able To Raise Tall Corn In A Single Season." The shirts will hopefully spark conversation between ranchers and consumers.
"We are always looking for fun, new ways to spread the message," he said. "So when this opportunity came about we knew, we wanted to be part of it. It's important that we don't get stale with our message or our methods and this was a chance to bring a fresh idea to the industry. So many times we see the same old effort to promote agriculture repackaged and expecting different results. Being creative and having fun while sharing the story of agriculture is what we strive for and we feel the Red Meat Mafia has accomplished that."
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Hadrick said the message of RMM is to educate others about where their food comes from.
"The message we are trying to send is that if people want to learn about agriculture then they should go to the best experts we have in the industry, and that is our farmers and ranchers. Along with that, farmers and ranchers need to be willing to share their stories with those who don't understand what we do. These shirts were designed to bridge that gap we see too often."
The secrecy behind RMM has many wondering what that's all about. Hadrick explained the reasoning behind it.
"From the beginning, the Family wanted this to be about thanking some of our great advocates we already have and hopefully inspiring new ones. That's where they wanted to focus rather than on themselves, and so far, the outreach has been amazing. Anytime you see people in agriculture excited to go out and share their story, it's exciting. Many farmers and ranchers are wearing their Red Meat Mafia shirts as a badge of honor – a way to tell the world that they are proud of their connection to agriculture. Each shirt even comes with an attached card that gives some information about the particular ag product the shirt is focusing on, so whoever wears it already has some ideas on what they can talk about in their conversation with a consumer."
To order a shirt or to learn more about the company, check out http://www.redmeatmafia.com.