Getting to Chat with Carrie Mess

Last week my class got to talk to Carrie Mess via a video phone call. Carrie is a well know activist for agriculture, she is the author of the well-known blog Dairy Carrie and is a member of the AG Chat board which is a website dedicated to telling the stories of a variety of figures in the Ag Community. Carrie has some unique but very well thought out and researched out looks on the Ag industry and especially the dairy side agriculture. One of the most interesting things about her story to me was the fact that much like myself she did not come from an agriculture or farm background but rather became interested in it after she married a dairy farmer. She also makes it very clear that the farm that her and her husband operate is very average in size to other Wisconsin dairy farms with only about 100 head on it.  As a very well-known Ag activist who is still gaining followers one of the main points she stressed to us was that the Ag community has been playing defensive way to much instead of being on the offense. Not too many of us got what she was saying when she first made that comment but later in our conversation she explained it in a simple situation. She described how many farmers and advocates are against laws prohibiting animal cruelty because they prohibit them to do their jobs they believe, which is a very  defensive way of looking at things. She explained that instead of being against these laws that the Ag community should indeed be against animal cruelty because that is the morally right thing to do not the fact that there is laws against it.  Carrie also described how one of the largest challenges in her mind for the Ag industry as a whole is hitting their target market, many will never come around on some subjects but the ones that are supporters or on the edge are the ones that need to be focused on.

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