By Kevin Paap,
There is no better place for agriculture to communicate our commitment to consumers than the Minnesota State Fair. From the coronation of Princess Kay to the outstanding 4-H and FFA members’ projects, the Minnesota State Fair is how we put the face on agriculture. It is where food connects us to consumers.
Farm Bureau members who invest their time at the fair clearly understand that the future of Minnesota agriculture is in good hands. However, as Farm Bureau members we must remember that even when fair season is over, our conversations with consumers must continue. Our mission “to be an advocate for agriculture driven by the beliefs and policies of our members” is not a 12-day mission. As members, we must work hard 365 days a year to communicate our commitment and connect with consumers about who we are, and how we raise the food they eat.
Congratulations to Rebekka Paskewitz, Todd County Farm Bureau member, who was crowned the 65th Princess Kay of the Milky Way. Visiting with her and the 11 other finalists for the 65th Princess Kay of the Milky Way and hearing their enthusiasm for dairy products and agriculture is one example of how to communicate our positive message to consumers.
Every one of these young women use their communication skills and dairy knowledge to help increase the demand for dairy products, and we thank them for their time and talents. We look forward to Princess Kay spending the next year participating in public appearances, promotional events and media interviews as the face of the Minnesota dairy farm families.
4-H and FFA members
Congratulations to every 4-H and FFA member, their parents and their advisors that represent agriculture at the state fair! These young people are our future. They rose to the challenge to professionally represent themselves and their communities.
Minnesota Farm Bureau along with many others participated in the 39th 4-H Club Purple Ribbon Livestock Auction. This event demonstrates the improvements made by livestock farmers and ranchers to meet current consumer demands for leanness, meatiness, taste and nutrition as well as demonstrates the very best in animal care. A special thank you to the Minnesota Livestock Breeders’ Association, an overall organization consisting of 20 principal, state-wide, purebred livestock breed organizations of all species of livestock for sponsoring the event.
Farm Bureau’s Voice
We must communicate our commitment with groups and organizations outside of agriculture. The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation State Fair exhibit is an example of consumer outreached. The exhibit emphasized the Minnesota Farmers CARE theme “Committed to Agriculture while Respecting the Earth – Animals * Environment * Food * Family.”
We believe it is important for everyone to understand how their food is grown, where it comes from, and the pollinator’s role in helping in this process. Our display focused on food labeling and helped to answer the tough questions that involve food with a focus on the food to farm journey from a consumer perspective.
We need your help, as a Farm Bureau member to build and maintain the trust of our customers and the public in our products and practices. We must do a better job to communicate our commitment to produce safe food, to protect animal well-being, to safeguard our natural resources and to contribute to a better quality of life in our communities.