Originally posted on Cattle Call:
BY JEN LIVSEY
“People need to know that we in agriculture like animals.” This simple but profound statement is the wisdom of Curt Pate, who travels the nation giving workshops on horsemanship and stockmanship. I recently attended one of his workshops and sat in the crowd of cattlemen when he shared this insight, which speaks to the fact that consumer behavior is driven by emotion, not scientific knowledge. I, like many ranchers, am often frustrated by the misinformation and fads that continually decrease the public’s trust in modern agriculture. When given the opportunity to address a question or concern about the cattle industry, my natural inclination is to cite facts and figures, to quote studies, and refer to articles. In many presentations and conversations I have done just this – but Curt’s advice is a reminder that fact-based education is not enough. How consumers think we in agriculture feel about animals matters – a lot.