When U.S. agricultural advocates Troy and Stacy Hadrick visited Australia last year, they urged Australian livestock producers to find their influential power.
When they returned to Australia last week, they discovered just how much the class of 2011 had learned.
After addressing a crowded room of livestock producers at Beef 2012 recently, the Hadricks heard how several members of the audience had applied their message to promote a positive story about agriculture to a wider audience in Australia.
Natalie Williams, who with husband Glen has a cattle property at Jericho in Central Queensland, says she drove away from the Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) Meat Profit Day at Eidsvold last year inspired to follow the Hadricks’ advice on speaking out.
She added some comments to a number of anti-live export websites, but failed to generate a response.
Her assumption was that maybe social media doesn’t work quite as well for Australian farmers as it does for U.S. farmers, perhaps because of the population difference.
That was until almost 12 months later when, out of the blue, she was contacted by a journalist from the Australian newspaper in relation to one of the comments she had posted.
“My comment that was on an animal welfare website ended up on the front page of the Australian newspaper,” she says. “Someone from the paper, and the editor, had actually read my comment, remembered it from 12 months before, and then used it in an article to promote agriculture. So while I thought my one little comment meant nothing to anyone, it obviously meant a bit, so I can say it works.”
Ainsley McArthur, a mother of six children who runs cattle with her husband Rob on a property in Central Queensland, says that she began blogging about their life last year to share a positive story about agriculture.
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By the way, Troy and Stacy Hadrick were lauded as BEEF magazine’s 2010 Trailblazer Award honorees. Read about their story here.