Schools are an obvious gateway to improving ag education, he said, citing existing programs such as Ag in the Classroom. If you can reach the students, they may take the information home to their parents, who also may improve their understanding of the industry.
But other outlets, such as civic or social groups, also provide opportunities in low-key settings to tell the public about agriculture.
“We need to be more of an advocate for our businesses, to point out how we are professionals, we follow BMPs, we do all of these things,” Atchley says. “A lot of people, unfortunately, don’t have the opportunity to see what we do on a day to day basis.”
Although some growers may shy away from talking to the public about agriculture, Atchley says, “We should be proud of what we do.”
“If people show an interest, we should make sure they have the accurate picture of what’s going on.”