Feedback is part of human nature and those of us in agriculture welcome it.
We all have received positive or negative comments at one time or another. I have drawn both criticism and praise during my years in print and broadcasting. The only real negative comment I received from this very column was an early one I wrote back in 2011 about giving farmers a little more wiggle room for obtaining a CDL, also known as a Commercial Driver’s License. A professional trucker felt farmers should go through the same testing as everyone else and he let me hear about it.
During my time in radio news between 2002 and 2012, I really didn’t hear from listeners too much except during a local election season, especially those races for county sheriff. If I had one candidate on the air, the other would be quick to call asking when they could talk (when we already ran a story on them). I think we always did a good job of trying our best to be fair and balanced. That’s a belief I have carried with me into my current profession.
I do recall a time when someone called and wasn’t very happy I listed an individual as a “parent” in an article when they were actually a step parent. Sorry about that – I guess we are all human and make mistakes. I received a few heartfelt comments when I devoted an entire article to a family dog passing away. Then, there’s the occasional “I read your column every week” comment. One area woman often asks her husband, “Have you read the Casson article yet?”
Social media provides the perfect outlet for feedback in agriculture. This can be good or bad. Negative or false stories about farmers tend to spread fast, especially in the large metro areas. It’s our job to tell our story and somehow get it out to those readers. Many of today’s farmers are doing a good job communicating – whether it’s through social media or other forms.
Farmers like to see people ask questions about where their food comes from. It gives us a chance to explain what we do and shows that people care. I particularly enjoy covering farm tours because I get to see growers talk about what they are passionate about. That is priceless, in my opinion.
(The View from the Cab blog is powered each week by Petersen Motors in Fairbury)