I attended the Leopold Conservation Award and Wyoming Stockgrower's Association Environmental Stewardship Tour last year, and left with a great idea for telling people about our industry. The part some producers may find most appealing is that it doesn't require using facebook, twitter, blogs, or the Internet in any form.
The family made a brochure explaining several of the things they did on their operation to promote great stewardship. They included some background information on their ranch, photos, and contact information in case someone wanted to get in touch with them in the future.
Anyone that goes on their ranch for hunting or fishing is given a brochure, and required to sit through a brief (10-15 minute) talk about their ranch and all the positive things they do to conserve the environment through their livestock produciton practices.
I recently took this idea and altered it slightly. I made a powerpoint slide show explaining the benefits of ranching on private, and public, lands. I went into some of our managment practices and the positive impact they have on the land, and the extended benefits those practices had on everyone who eats. I explained that we raise the safest food supply in the world on the land we own and rent, and included pictures of my family doing the things I was discussing.
The powerpoint made it's debut earlier this summer, when a group of dinosaur bone hunters arrived for a week of digging. The group was comprised of people from across the country, and the slide show was a big hit. Several people asked questions, and were genuinely interested and pleasantly surprised at what I told them about ranching in Wyoming.
They were impressed that all the land they drove by on the way to our ranch (we are 56 miles from town) was owned and operated by families, not large corporations or absentee owners, with very few exceptions. They couldn't believe we had such an extensive animal health and feed program, and were impressed by the in-depth managment plan and use of technology on our operation.
One lady from New York wrote us a great note, thanking us for raising the food that feeds the world, and for taking the time to tell her about ranching.
Thought I would share this idea with you, in case you're trying to find ways to tell people about our industry that doesn't involved the world wide web.