Recently my Facebook and Instagram newsfeeds have been blowing up with images of farms, and I LOVE it! Thanks to the 10 Day Farming Family Challenge, I get to open my Facebook app and (frequently) see the most adorable calves staring at me.
For those of you who have not seen the 10 Day Farming Family Challenge, it goes a little something like this....
Someone finds a picture of their farm and shares it.
They caption the photo, "Day (fill in day) for the 10 Day Farming Family Challenge. Every day I select an image from a day in the life of farming that has had an impact on me and post it without a single explanation and nominate somebody to take the challenge. That’s 10 days, 10 farming photos, 10 nominations and 0 explanations."
They tag someone else and nominate them to participate in the challenge.
But as this challenge has caught attention of hundreds and continues to drive opportunities for farmers and ranchers to share images of their everyday lives, there is one thing that confuses me.
The challenge says "0 explanations". That means 0 chances for agriculturalists to share what is going on in the image. 0 chances to share a piece of information about our industry. 0 chances to further tell our story. And 1 million chances for non-agriculturalists to create a story of their own.
I've heard the saying, "Give an inch and they'll take a mile" many times in my life. And it describes this campaign perfectly. We're giving the anti-agricultural groups an inch by giving them an image they do not have to find themselves, and they have the opportunity to take it a mile by creating their own caption.
Take for example this picture of one of my steers and me at the Fair.
Captioning this picture with an explanation I would explain how this steer was my absolute favorite and through showing him at the county fair, I was able to learn about the livestock industry while improving my leadership skills, work ethic and self-confidence.
An anti-agriculturalist group's take on it wouldn't be so sweet... I would expect it to go along the lines of their previous campaigns against animal agriculture, 4-H and FFA: "Teaching kids to harden their hearts. She may be smiling now but wait until that cow goes to market."
Completely different meanings right?
I love the challenge, don't get me wrong; but for those of you tagging agricultural friends in your post, I encourage you to build on the challenge. Tell your story, and don't let the anti-agricultural groups do it for you. Because let's be honest, if we give them an inch, they will go a mile.