What does music’s biggest night – the Grammys – have to do with today’s agriculture? For many Americans, it was a two-minute, animated Chipotle ad that caught their attention. It caused them to wonder about where their food really comes from. It most likely gave them a poor impression - and a lot of doubts - about the people who grow and raise their food.
USFRA thinks that Americans want and need to hear the whole story. Is it really correct to characterize larger farms as “factory farms” that mistreat animals if they are housed in barns protected from inclement weather? Is it fair to use an animated video with a heartwarming song to try to cast a bad light on conventional farming? Is it right to imply that conventional pig farmers knowingly pollute the environment?
Farmers and ranchers have said all farms, regardless of size, are actually held to and adhere to the same tight standards. So what’s the real story?
Americans have many questions about animal care – and farmers and ranchers should be open to answering those questions and sharing their personal experiences. Only when farmers and ranchers share their stories about animal care will consumers get the entire story.
Farmers and ranchers, if you don’t speak out and share your experiences, these types of videos will misrepresent you and the industry. Even respected media outlets are highlighting the ad despite the video’s inaccuracies. Here are just two examples of what they’re reporting:
“…the most enjoyable musical thing I saw last night was not a live performance at all. It was a Chipotle ad.” – TIME Entertainment
“All in all, it's an exceptionally good piece of both animated filmmaking and promotion, and yet another example of how far apart Chipotle stands from the rest of the quick-service pack.” - Esquire
Tell us your story about how you care for your animals regardless of the size of your farm and let us know how you’re continually improving how you produce food.
Take a look at some examples below of how our farmers and ranchers are responsibly caring for their animals:
- Ranchers across the country are committed to providing the best care for their livestock. Did you know the Beef Quality Assurance program provides cattle farmers and ranchers with ongoing training to support them as they provide the highest level of care? Additionally, the practices by which ranchers raise cattle are influenced by the Agricultural Research Service – which conducts scientific research on animal well-being and the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) (http://www.explorebeef.org/animalcare.aspx).
- Also, if you missed it, check out our mini-documentary about how a pork farmer’s family cares for their animals. Be sure to browse the video gallery to see more of our farmer and rancher stories come to life.
- Take a look at the Pork Checkoff’s stance on humane animal treatment as well as some links and resources on swine care.