The Alliance is celebrating our 30th Anniversary this year. Thirty successful years of working to bridge the communication gap between farm and fork by connecting industry stakeholders through common ground, engaging with both producers and consumers about agriculture, and protecting the industry that feeds us all. This is why the Alliance will be participating in Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving on November 28th, again this year to help us continue our mission for years to come. We are attempting to reach new heights for our #GivingTuesday campaign this year by increasing our goal in hopes of expanding our support for those involved in the agriculture industry who work so hard for our nation’s food supply. We are excited to have participation in our campaign this year from two companies: Cooper Farms, who will be matching all donations up to $5,000, and Cattle Empire, LLC, matching gifts from $5,001 up to $10,000. Here are some examples of how the Alliance team has been working hard over the last year in pursuit of bridging the communication gap between farm and fork.
Monitoring activists and animal rights groups.
The Alliance has been working hard to protect animal agriculture through constant monitoring of activists and animal rights groups. We keep our members up-to-date with the continuous formation of new activist groups to add into our Activist Web, and provide summaries of key activist groups to help others understand the various goals and tactics of each organization. Additionally, the Alliance sends representatives to the Animal Rights Conference every year, releasing a report afterwards of important takeaways from the gathering.
Not only are we proactive about learning new methods and tactics used by activist groups, but we also work to keep our members informed and knowledgeable about how to protect themselves from a possible threat. Through the Alliance’s Farm Security Mobile App, we arm members with the most up-to-date security and crisis management advice and resources designed to keep their farms safe.
Engagement with food chain influencers.
Restaurants, retailers, and foodservice establishments are constantly being pressured by activist groups to meet their unrealistic demands. That is why the Alliance has ramped up efforts this year to engage with these food chain influencers to help them become more well informed about animal agriculture and aware of the potential repercussions of their decisions.
Earlier this year, the Alliance launched a series of Lunch and Learns for DC-area food chain influencers to build relationships with these associations and provide resources to restaurants and food retailers. Attendees this year included representatives from the Food Marketing Institute, National Grocers Association, National Restaurant Association, National Council of Chain Restaurants and several ag organizations. Additionally, the Alliance organized a #FamersThankDominos campaign this year in response to Domino’s’ outward support of farmers and ranchers. We encouraged everyone to order a Domino’s pizza on June 2nd, followed by a posted picture on social media using the hashtag #FarmersThankDominos, which was used over 1,000 times.
Most recently, the Alliance hosted a farm tour for various food chain influencers, in which we visited a poultry farm, dairy operation, and pig farm in Maryland. We encouraged attendees to become involved and pose questions to become more informed on the workings of the animal agriculture industry. The tour was an excellent way to develop relationships with individuals in the restaurant, retailer, and foodservice industry and we received a lot of positive feedback about the tour.
Mainstream and Trade Media Engagements.
Working to bridge the communications gap between farm and fork means we need to be highly involved with various media outlets. We have been working hard over the last year to build and maintain positive relationships with key influencers in the agriculture industry. Between May 1, 2016 and April 30, 2017 the Alliance was mentioned in more than 760 articles, and issued 31 press releases during this time period. Our attendance at various media events such as the Wall Street Journal Global Food Forum is crucial in the amplification of our mission.
We also use these relationships to share various reports or recent news from the Alliance, such as our recent Advances in Animal Agriculture report, the Alliance’s 2017 Annual Report, and updates regarding our College Aggies Online scholarship competition. We plan to continue engagement with various media outlets and resources over the next year, building mutually beneficial relationships to ultimately reach a consumer network outside of our own and continue public access to factual, science-based information about agriculture.
Join the Alliance for #GivingTuesday, November 28th.
Help us continue these efforts and amplify our mission to bridge the communication gap between farm and fork by supporting the Alliance for #GivingTuesday this year. By supporting the Alliance, you are helping give farmers and ranchers a positive voice to further engage with consumers. Visit our website on Giving Tuesday, November 28th, to donate and be sure to follow us on social media!