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Survey Says… Farm and ranch families comprise just two percent of the U.S. population.
This year in New Orleans, the American Farm Bureau -Promotion and Education team hosted an event, the Field to Fork Face-Off, a spin off of Family Feud. What could be more fun than competing against your fellow Farm Bureau Members from others states in agriculture trivia? If you have ever watched family feud, you know that answers to the questions are unique in that they aren't factual "answers" at all. Farm Bureau members on each team were challenged to come up with the most popular answers to each question, which may be factually correct or not. Contestants had to come up with answers based on a survey panel of mid-western urban fair goers. You can only imagine answers given to questions like: “what foods come from corn?” or “what does a farmer wear?” The answers that seem simple answers or frivolous to those in the agriculture industry can often be thought provoking to urban natives.
The Montana Field to Fork Face-Off Team was given some stiff competition and came in second place! Although this was all in good fun bringing Farm Bureau members from different states together in friendly competition, it was eye opening to how little our urban neighbors understand about our world and way of life. Many Americans are three generations away from agriculture. As that number increases so does the distance between their understanding of what happens on the farm, where our products come from and what products they evolve into. Farm Bureau strives to educate and promote agriculture on all levels. Perhaps this time around, we were given insight into the minds of our urban neighbors.
As agriculturists, it can be very easy to remain in our individual worlds and “stick to our jobs” or focus on our own communities as opposed to the world outside of our own. A light-hearted, fun game shed light on the importance of the agricultural-urban gap, and made it more tangible to contestants and viewers. Many survey questions were difficult to answer; surveyed fair goers were not always accurate.
The Field to Fork Face-Off was a great experience created by the Promotion and Education team, and it was certainly fun to be a participant. This experience challenged me to be more open with my urban neighbors on agricultural facts and processes. I now pass the challenge on to Montana Farm Bureau members to do the same: to share your agriculture story and knowledge with the world around you, you never know who may be listening!