The pride that farmers have in their industry is evident at events like Canada’s Farm Progress Show, but a campaign is on to promote that pride all the time.
Agriculture More Than Ever was spearheaded by Farm Credit Canada earlier this year and saw its first major western Canadian exposure last month at the Regina show.
T-shirts and stickers celebrating “Ag More Than Ever” could be seen throughout the grounds.
Lyndon Carlson, senior vice-president of marketing at FCC, said it’s critical farmers be the champions of their own industry.
Although a survey found 80 percent of producers think their farms will be better off in five years than today, only 12 percent of urban people think farmers are optimistic, Carlson said.
“There’s a real disconnect,” he said. “Our industry believes that we have a lot of promise, but the general public doesn’t understand that story.”
The same goes for issues such as food safety and sustainable agriculture.
Producers tend to downplay the fact that they are leaders in these areas, Carlson said.
“One of the things we have to illustrate is just how capable we are as an industry, and so I think we have to show that we’re not just a modern industry; we’re also competent and we still cling to very strong values and principles.”
Carlson said the initiative is about giving back to the industry rather than building a loan portfolio.
FCC is asking other industry partners to join with it and help improve public perception. Response has been good, Carlson said.