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How Did We Get Here?

October 18, 2022 | Letters

Author: Nicole Olynk Widmar, Associate Head and Professor, Purdue University, Department of Agricultural Economics

How did we get here? Negotiating standards, regulations and outcomes in the ‘court of public opinion’ is a very costly way to navigate a path forward.

We have spent time with Dr. Cami Ryan thinking about communication about socially and politically sensitive topics in food and agriculture and we worry about mis/disinformation. But we continue to struggle with why consumers don’t understand our business (recall, unfortunate truth #2), yet have opinions about how we should operate. We are trying to engage in meaningful dialogue, but not always aware of how our words are received.

How did we get here … into this situation that we currently face with contentious conversations between animal agriculture and the general public? If you have to ask that question, then I need to ask you the question of how involved you were (or what role we ourselves played) in the path to wherever here is …