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“You have two ears and one mouth, use them accordingly”

Rooted in the heart of Wisconsin lies a town in which the human population is outnumbered twice-over by dairy cows. With 66,000 dairy cows and 32,000 people, some would speculate the citizens of Loyal, Wisconsin may have less opportunity to interact with any species differing from that of dairy cattle.

Kim Bremmer, University of Wisconsin, Madison graduate and animal nutritionist, has found her voice within the herd by advocating for agriculture through her business, Ag Inspirations.

On August 1st, Bremmer put her wisdom to work at the 2019 Iowa Women in Agriculture Conference.

“I started Ag Inspirations five-and-a-half years ago with the mission to inspire farmers to tell their stories, connect people to where their food comes from, and represent the great success of American agriculture today. What we’re talking about today is leading the discussion for agriculture. There is a lot of misinformation out there that our consumers get everyday, and it’s not necessarily their fault. It is our job and our responsibility to speak up and share the true story of agriculture,” Bremmer said.

When asked what she hoped the ladies would gather from her time on stage, Bremmer said she wants all agriculturalists to understand that they need to speak with intention, and omit defense.

“One of my favorite things to talk about is, I had a Grandma that would say, ‘You have two ears and one mouth for a reason, use them accordingly.’ Too often we get defensive. When people say something about agriculture that we don’t agree with, we have this instinct to get very defensive. Then, we instantly want to puke our knowledge all over people. And we have to stop doing that. It’s not connecting with consumers, and people not in agriculture; it’s not getting us anywhere in this discussion,” Bremmer said.

On the other hand, Kim provided a recommendation for how to positively impact the consumer’s thinking.

“We need to make connections–we have to listen. The most important thing we have to acknowledge is that all consumer concerns are valid, whether we agree with them or not. It can be as simple as saying, ‘You know what, I understand why you think that because there is so much misinformation out there. But on our farm, we do this…,’” Bremmer said.

As for consumers, Bremmer also had a bit of advice.

“There are a ton of places to get information from. Make sure you have farmers on your list of resources. I’m not going to say that you shouldn’t use Google, (and) I’m not going to say that you shouldn’t read a number of different ideas or opinions. But when it really comes down to the rubber meeting the road, it’s our farmer’s that are the experts in growing and raising food, so make sure they are on your list of resources.

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