Some of you may recall my “war with words” I had with one of our local newspapers, Chico News & Review over Lean Finely Textured Beef or what some people call “Pink Slime”… Words were exchanged, everyone had their own opinion of what happened, it appeared in the paper for about two weeks, and then nothing ever came of it.

Fast forward a few months later… We receive an envelope in the mail from Chico News & Review, figuring it was just another attempt to advertise, we opened it anyway. Low and behold, there was a letter. A hand written letter. From the General Manager. And in the first paragraph of the letter, an apology. I must admit, I was rather shocked. I mean I thought I had ruffled feathers that would never lay down again.

But don’t get me wrong, I didn’t write a letter to editor simply to poke them with a stick. I wrote that letter to the editor because I was sincerely upset with how my industry was being portrayed. And that in fact, my local newspaper was giving people of my own town false information about a product produced by my industry. It was in fact my passion for the meat industry that pushed me to sit down and form my thoughts. It was that I was going to stand up for what I believe in, regardless of the outcome, that pushed me to put the words to the page and hit the send button.

Being an advocate for agriculture has its ups and downs, some days you aren’t going to be popular with people. Somedays your local newspaper will smear you in their pages. Somedays people will wish all kinds of awful things on you… But don’t let harsh criticisms of others stop you from standing up for what you believe in, what your livelihood has been, and standing up for all those people out there who work longer than a 9-5 to feed the rest of us. And here’s proof that although sometimes it feels like your response may lay on deaf ears or that what you have to say doesn’t make a difference.. It does. So continue sharing your story, continue to initiate and foster conversation about agriculture. Every little bit helps!

Chico News and Review,  it’s apparent to me that, clearly, we aren’t always going to see eye to eye. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t celebrate agriculture together. If your way of supporting agriculture is doing so by promoting local agriculture than so be it. I will continue to promote all facets of ag, both large and small, commercial and organic.  In my last post to you, I entitled it, let’s be in this together and I am glad that you took the initiative to accept my apology and hold out your hand to mine. Thank you.

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