Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Communication `Key' to Farming Industry / Say Young Farmers

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Communication `Key' to Farming Industry / Say Young Farmers

Article excerpt

Increased communications are needed between consumers and the American agricultural industry, two representatives of the National Young Farmers Association said Monday.

Out of 17 applicants, Edward Yanos of Indiana and Phoebe Bitler of Pennsylvania were selected by the Indianapolis-based association to tour the country over the next year, visiting directly with consumers and the media to help them better understand farming.

Their mission, said Yanos, is to listen to consumers' concerns and inform them on what is happening in farming. They made their first stop Monday in Oklahoma City.

"We need more communication not only in agriculture and with consumers, but in all parts of society," he said. "The more we talk to consumers and the more consumers talk to us, the better it is for our industry."

With a flow of communication between the farming industry, those who supply and those who buy, not as many problems arise, Yanos said. The objective is to maintain a dialogue rather than continue to engage in finger pointing.

While only 3 percent of the population are agricultural producers or farmers, he said 30 to 40 percent are involved in getting food from the farm to the plate. When problems arise, the blame is tossed from one side to the other.

The consumer's awareness of farming and what factors enter into food quality and prices is important to policy. Consumers are often called upon to vote to make changes that directly or indirectly affects farming, Yanos noted.

"Consumers have to know the affect of agriculture on their lives in order to make more educated decisions," he said.

The young farmers program is being funded by Elanco Products Co. of Indianapolis.

There has not been any loud outcry lately, Yanos said, but food prices are in the back of the minds of most consumers. …

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