The American Farm Bureau Federation has just launched a new Web site about farm-animal care. Found at www.conversationsOnAnimalCare.com the effort is an initiative to open communications with consumers about farm-animal production practices in the United States.

“The American public needs to hear the true story about livestock production in this country and our industry needs to do a better job in telling it,” says Don Lipton, AFBF's public relations director. “This is a proactive issues-management campaign in which we allow and help farmers to tell their story about animal care to the public.”

Lipton cites an online poll by Harris Interactive that shows one-third of consumers asked were not sure that livestock producers treat animals humanely. However, the poll also indicates that when presented with basic information about animal agriculture, consumers respond favorably. The research showed that the message which resonates most with the public and that producers need to emphasize is “healthy animals mean healthy food for you and your family.”

Chris Chinn, Clarence, MO pork producer is pleased to have support of the initiative. “This program has been extremely beneficial to our family farm because there are so many people who are trying to tell the story of agriculture and they aren’t getting it right. We felt like it was really important for our family to learn how to get in front of the public and give our message and help people understand what we do on our farm.”

The AFBF initiative will be national in scope. “We need an army of people who are willing to speak to the public and the media about what goes on in agriculture,” says Lipton. “We have reached out to other ag groups in the industry to do a better job in delivering the message that needs to be delivered to the American people.” For more information, go to www.conversationsOnAnimalCare.com.