JEFFERSON CITY — Director of Agriculture Chinn authors a monthly column in Missouri Ruralist entitled Ag Matters. Below is this month’s column.
I’ve spent years working to rebuild the trust that has been lost between those who eat and the farmers who raise food. My most productive moments in helping bridge the gap have been one-on-one conversations that revolve around what’s most important to the person I’m talking to. Truly starting that genuine conversation is half the battle. Even those who you think you’ll have nothing in common with can surprise you.
Through our reach MORE pillar of MDA’s strategic plan, we aim to rebuild trust in food decisions and tell the real and positive story of our farm families.
That’s why we turned the Agriculture Building at the Missouri State Fair into a platform for telling Missouri’s farm story. We had fun photo backdrops for the family, trivia towers showcasing fun agriculture facts, planter boxes with corn, rice, sorghum, soybean and cotton that people could feel in their hands. All of these were the means to have our staff engage with fairgoers. We explained the difference between sweet corn and field corn, we gave children the chance to feel seed with their hands and we showed them a 360-degree view of a modern hog barn and dairy operation.
— Missouri Department of Agriculture
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