Ag Pride Editorial: Time to be Ag Proud
MeatIn by the Numbersby Rachel Gabel More than 35 cities and counties signed proclamations in order to promote the importance of agriculture in Colorado; designating March 20, 2021 as “Cattlemen’s Day,” “MeatIn Day,” or other similar designations. With more than 75 events, plus countless restaurant and retailer specials, meat was on the menu and tables across the state. At the 75 events alone, more than 25,000 people were offered complimentary barbecue meals, including more than 1,200 food insecure Denver residents. Over $300,000 was raised for local charities, Beef Sticks for Back Packs, various FFA chapters, and food banks. Governors of Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana recognized their protein industries as valuable, some even inviting Coloradans across the border to their tables. News coverage was statewide and news of the event was even reported as far away as Germany.
Ag pride. Most of us are proud of what we do. We’re proud of the products we produce, the way we produce them, the lifestyle we live and the legacy we pass on.
Not everyone gets to stay in production agriculture. But no one gets out without being shaped by it. From work ethic to understanding where food comes from, the benefits of exposure to ranch life are life-long.
Unfortunately, a lot of states are being increasingly governed by those who don’t understand production agriculture, and create policy that reflects that disconnect. Colorado is one of those states that has prompted ag producers to spend time they don’t have, trying to fight this ignorant, agenda-driven legislation, and educating the public about the true stories of agriculture.
The recent MeatOut declared in Colorado, when the governor asked residents to go meatless on March 20, was one of those calls to action. Governors in surrounding states, cattlemen’s organizations, FFA chapters and individual producers and businesses claimed the day as MeatIn, a celebration of meat, meat producers and the economic benefits of both.
It was heartening to see communities gather to celebrate agriculture, the industry that creates value in these states, and swells the economies of communities, states and the country.
But that’s not enough. We need to keep telling the stories of agriculture, daily. Whether we’re at our kids’ baseball practice, in line at the grocery store or interacting on social media, we need to keep sharing the positive, true stories of what makes us proud to be producers.
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