By: Katelyn Duncan, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture
Agriculture Month 2017 is right around the corner. Keeping with the Our Food Has a Story theme that was introduced last year, October is a time to tell the story of how food produced on the farm gets to the table, and share why we do it the way we do. It’s a time to celebrate the dedicated people it takes along the way to deliver healthy, affordable, and safe products that are produced sustainably. And most importantly, a time to recognize that food is grown with consumers in mind.
Ag Month 2017 is led by the Ministry of Agriculture along with three amplifier groups: Farm & Food Care – Saskatchewan (FFC – SK), Ag More than Ever (AMTE), and Agriculture in the Classroom – Saskatchewan (AITC – SK). These organizations all have a unique target audience that will help further the Ag Month campaign. FFC – SK’s target audience is consumers, AITC – SK’s primary audience is students and teachers, and AMTE’s focus is on providing resources for producers. Through a collaborative effort with these stakeholder groups, Ag Month is truly an industry driven campaign.
Similar to last year, the month-long campaign will feature four weekly sub-themes; health and nutrition, affordability, food safety, and sustainability. These themes are a guideline for you to develop content that is related to the Ag Month campaign and relevant to your specialty in agriculture. The main target audience is young mothers, influencers, industry and youth. The best part about Ag Month is that it is an opportunity to be creative with your food story.
We know that consumers are increasingly seeking information about food and farming, so this is an opportunity to share your food story with them. Your involvement as industry could be as simple as sharing your story on social media using the common hashtags #OurFoodHasAStory and #AgMonth17, hosting an Ag Month event, or assisting producers that you work with in sharing their food story. Your role could involve challenging other industry partners to be engaged, or simply becoming an ‘agvocate’ for the industry.
Consumers trust farmers because they believe we share the same values. We all want access to healthy, affordable, and safely produced products. And we all want choice. This is why it’s important for us to speak up, and connect with consumers based on these shared values.
Agriculture Month is an exciting opportunity for the people of Saskatchewan to share their food story in a creative and engaging way, in an effort to celebrate the industry’s many successes. Ag Month is a chance to help the public understand and appreciate modern agriculture. We may not be perfect, but we do have a great story to tell. This October, be part of the conversation.