Janeal Yancey, the 'Mom at the Meat Counter,' Encourages Producers to Get on Consumers' LevelThu, 04 Oct 2018 10:52:11 CDT
By trade, Janeal Yancey works as a program technician in the Meat Science department at the University of Arkansas. On the side, though, Yancey has built up a large following through her blog, Mom at the Meat Counter, where she shares her knowledge of meat production with the goal of answering questions that ag-illiterate consumers may have about their food and how it is produced. She talked recently with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays about the importance of sharing ag’s story with consumers.
According to Yancey, the average consumer of today is at least three generations removed from the farm and in their lifetime has probably only visited a working farm maybe once. Because of this, she says most consumers have a very limited knowledge of what actually goes on in a farm or ranch operation, much less why certain things are done the way they are. This is important for people in the industry to understand, she says, because consumers today have many questions and are often met with some response from an engaged member of the agricultural community. However, what is often overlooked in those responses is a lack of effective communication. She says consumers knowledge of ag is so limited that often times, what those in the industry might consider very basic terms, are often completely lost on the consumer who hears nothing but confusing jargon when an explanation is being offered.
Yancey says producers may feel it necessary to clarify terms like GMO, EPD, and AI… but more often than not, she says a consumer is likely to also need clarification on the simple things like heifer, steer, gilt and barrow. Most consumers recognize cow, sheep, pig and goat, etc. But Yancey says the first step to effective communication is bringing things down to a level that consumers can understand.
Yancey believes that engaging with the public is more important than ever for the ag industry, as the gap between the producer and consumer continues to widen. By sharing individual experiences, she believes that renewed trust and understanding can be established. Motivated by that belief, Yancey encourages others to share their stories in the same way she was recruited, acknowledging the inherent strength in numbers.
Listen to Yancey and Hays discuss her advocacy efforts on behalf of the ag industry, on today’s Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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