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Beefs and Beliefs

You Are the Source

Consumers want to hear what you do and they want to hear it from you.

South Dakota rancher Troy Hadrick said something really profound today.

“People are using social media because they want to go to the source. If they want to know about their food they want to hear about it from farmers and ranchers. They’re tired of the clutter and the noise, the paid celebrities representing the faceless opinions of others.”

Hadrick was one of the speakers at Alltech’s 27th International Symposium in Lexington, Kentucky. He was describing the experiences and lessons learned from the past six or seven years during which he and wife Stacy have become outspoken advocates for agriculture – in fact the pair have a website and organization by that very name at the same time they continue operating their ranch.

Hadrick is known by some people for his home-produced video pouring out a bottle of Yellowtail wine in his corral and voicing his contempt for the Australian company which had given $100,000 to the Humane Society of the United States.

Hadrick said he and his wife decided they needed to do something not terribly long after New York writer Michael Pollan wrote the article “Power Steer” in 2002. The steer he followed from birth to slaughter was born on the Hadricks’ ranch. Soon Pollan struck again with his book, “Omnivore’s Dilemma.”

“We decided the real omnivore’s dilemma is getting out the real story,” Hadrick said.

The Hadricks cut their social media teeth on a blog, he says, then on Facebook and later on Twitter.

Hadrick speaks fairly often these days to agricultural producers, encouraging them to speak out. The technology of internet and video cameras allow us to speak right from our homes and without a great deal of time, he said

“Conversations about agriculture are happening every day on the Internet whether you are involved or not,” he said. “I want to be involved because nobody else is going to tell my story accurately.”

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