Dear Unnamed Animal Rights Organization,
This is in response to your recent blog post bashing the National FFA Organization and animal agriculture. You’ve done more than just anger a stay-at-home mom blogger in Wyoming. With one misguided and misinformed blog post, you’ve managed to raise the ire of more than 550,000 FFA members, millions of alumni and an entire agriculture industry. And for that I say, thank you. A hearty, beautiful thank you.
You see, this week, Wyoming FFA members are celebrating the second annual Wyoming Agriculture Advocacy Week. AGvocacy Week, as they call it, was a celebration dreamt up by nine college students in Wyoming a little over a year ago. Their dream was for one week of the year, to have 2,600 Wyoming FFA members focused and working together to advocate for the agriculture industry. They wanted members to share their own personal beliefs in agriculture. They wanted members to share ag facts. They wanted members to raise awareness of the importance agriculture plays in our economy, culture and natural resources.
It’s an important mission, and one our FFA members take seriously. But then you went and wrote your blog post and upped the stakes. You tried to take the National FFA Organization to task for it’s commitment to agriculture and the personal growth of its members. You tried to hit us where it would hurt the most – right in our beloved blue and gold jacket.
But. You. Failed.
You failed to present logical arguments. You failed to back up your rhetoric with science based facts. You failed to trick the FFA into spreading your propaganda. You failed to divide the organization or cast them in any kind of negative light. You tried to drag them down to your level of fighting dirty and spreading lies and propaganda. You failed.
Instead, you’ve given the Wyoming FFA members, and members nationwide, a very real example of why they need to stand up for their industry. You’ve demonstrated to them the importance of advocating for agriculture. You’ve given anyone who loves the FFA and supports the agriculture industry a reason to engage in the #AgistheAnswer and #FFAProud campaign. You’ve managed to rally the troops and you don’t even know it.
You see, I read your blog last night. And it made me so mad, I started to formulate a response in defense of the organization and industry that helped me become who I am today. But then the most amazing thing happened.
Before I could get my thoughts together, FFA went on the offensive. The entire organization came together. Members stopped talking about how angry the blog made them. They deleted their posts linking to your derogatory propaganda.
Instead, in Wyoming and across the country, FFA members and industry supporters began sharing their positive agriculture experiences on social media. They are talking about agriculture and livestock production with their friends and family. They are blogging, tweeting, speaking on the radio and appearing on TV in response to your attack. They are engaging with anyone and everyone who will listen about the benefits of FFA. You are not getting the press. The articulate and charismatic FFA members are. And they are making the most of it.
FFA members are discussing how #AgistheAnswer to feeding and clothing an ever-expanding world. They are sharing how #AgistheAnswer to keeping open spaces. They are discussing how #AgistheAnswer in support of other vital industries like conservation, transportation, textiles, floriculture, horticulture and medicine.
So thank you. Thank you solidifying their purpose. Thank you for strengthening their resolve. Thank you for giving them the perfect example of just what is at stake for the FFA and agriculture if we ALL don’t tell the real ag story. Thank you for giving all of agriculture the swift kick in the butt we needed to move beyond complacency and into our own version of attack mode. No longer will we let you misrepresent facts and spew hatred. We will not sit idly by while you tarnish our blue jackets, industry or our way of life.
Research shows that people were hunting animals for their meat as long as 2 million years ago. By most accounts, agriculture started around 7,000 B.C. in the fertile lands of the Middle East. The domestication of animals dates to around 6,000 B.C., depending on the species. Goats were domesticated for their meat, wool and milk as early as 8,000 B.C. The National FFA Organization has been around since 1928. Your organization has only been around since 1980.
By all means, try to sully the National FFA Organization again. Come at them, at us, with everything you’ve got. But if you’re going to take us down, you’ll need more than scare tactics and half-truths. We have time on our side. We have history on our side. We have a highly-educated, well-spoken, compassionate, honest and determined legion of blue-jacketed agriculture advocates on our side. And I couldn’t be more #FFAproud.
P.S. If this resonates with you, drop me a line and share your own ag story or FFA moment at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell me, or the world, why you are #FFAProud or why you believe #AgistheAnswer. I’d love to hear from you!