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Being the public face of your farm


Table of Contents:

  • Public relations must be practiced from time to time in response to those who don't understand agriculture.
  • Follow the rules. Do what the rules say, and cover your own rear end.

He listed a number of “public relations considerations,” including the following:

-Think before you act. In other words, use common sense.

-Communicate appropriately. Work with those who live nearby whenever you’re doing something that might affect them, such as spreading poultry litter and causing a smell for a couple of days.

-Be reasonable and rational. If someone is having a family reunion or a wedding in their backyard, don’t spread litter or do anything else that would cause a disruptions. Your neighbors will be unhappy, and whenever they’re unhappy, they start trying to figure out how to do something about it. That leads to action on their part.

-Follow the rules. Do what the rules say, and cover your own rear end.

-Document your actions, assuming they’re the right actions.

-Put yourself in your neighbor’s place. How would you feel if you were in your neighbor’s house, and you were doing the things you’re doing in that particular field? Sometimes, given the chance to do things over, we probably would have done them differently.

-Do the right thing. That’s the bottom line.

If someone who lives near you is unhappy with something you’re doing, Stafford says the most important thing is to make sure all of your bases are covered.

“Are you prepared, and do you have documentation so that if an inspector shows up – or even if a local television reporter shows up – that you’ll be okay? That’s the challenge,” he says.

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