Monday, February 4, 2013

The Year of the Farmer...

I absolutely loved the Dodge Ram fourth quarter commercial tonight. Literally AS it was playing, I could see my Facebook newsfeed filling and filling with links, praises and just general joy. I spent the duration of the two minute ad bawling my eyes out. Of course, I'd already cried over the Budweiser ad (and I'd had prior knowledge of it!) so this one of course came as a surprise. And then to find out that my FAVORITE ORGANIZATION IN THE WHOLE WORLD was actually going to be benefitting?  Excellent! (National FFA is receiving up to a million dollars from Ram depending on how many people view/share the video... I'm going to take a stab and say it'll be the full million.)

Over the next couple hours, I watched as it blew up first Facebook, then Twitter (trending!) and the internet in general as "one of the best commercials of the Super Bowl". Beautiful. A huge audience, a huge message and the best part is, it wasn't stereotypical, it wasn't arrogant and it was simple. Ram helped do some major good tonight on improving the face of modern agriculture. I'm so proud to be a part of the largest industry in America <3

Here's the link to the ad so you too can help out the National FFA Organization!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Happy National (International?) Bacon Day!

I've heard conflicting reports on whether it's National or International Bacon Day today.

I say who cares?! It's a day to celebrate Nature's candy!

Here's an awesome infographic to give you some cool facts about this deliciousness:


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Today, I ate Chipotle.

I have a confession to make. Today, I committed a "cardinal sin". I did something I don't usually ever do. It made me feel so guilty I looked around to make sure no one I knew was watching me. 

I ate Chipotle for lunch.  

"Oh my gosh!" "Why would you do such a thing?" "Don't you love agriculture?!?!"

I have been anti-Chipotle for about five years now. It all started with some ill-worded billboards and a few nasty messages on the sides of take out bags. When Chipotle started touting the slogan "Pork from Farms, not Pharms", they lost this consumer. And honestly, Chipotle can say whatever the heck they want. But then again, I can choose not to purchase from them either because of what they say. 

Remember these puppies? 
I don't appreciate the fact that Chipotle tries to slander the agriculture community by saying that the majority of us are "factory farmers". I understand that this sells food, but it sure doesn't help public perception of modern ag. For that reason, I've made it a point not to eat there. 

So now we come back to today... 

Why are you so good?!?!?!
I had a craving! For chicken soft tacos. And it was a strong one. Usually I just make lunch at home. Not today. Today I drove into town feeling guilty as heck and went inside the new (I say it's new... I guess it's been there a year or so. First time I'd been inside!) Chipotle. I ordered three chicken soft tacos, an order of chips and a soft drink. I paid a ridiculous amount of money for those three items and I then I walked over to fill up my cup. 

Here's where it gets cool: 

I happened to be wearing my "I Dig the Pig" t-shirt. The one that I have like twenty of because of working the Ohio Pork Producers stand at the Ohio State Fair. And this is for real. Some guy saw the shirt and came up to me. He asked if I was a hog farmer. We started talking a little bit and ended up having a great discussion about public perception of modern farms. He said he'd never really understood how they worked and that the only "facts" he had about them were from companies like Chipotle. He just liked the idea of animals being happy and comfortable. 

The t-shirt :)

Conversations like these always boggle my mind because in my small town of Canal Winchester, I like to assume that everyone knows about modern ag. I don't like to think that many people are so far removed from the farm. I like to think everyone in my town knows where their food comes from. At least today I know that one more person does know. And maybe he'll tell his family. And they'll tell theirs. And so on and so forth... 

I guess maybe what I'm trying to say is, I'm a big believer in things happening for a reason. Last week I had the opportunity to attend the AgChat Foundation Agvocacy 2.0 conference where reaching consumers and learning to speak their language was a huge point. And today I did something I never do and ended up reaching out to someone. Maybe Chipotle is evil. Maybe I broke the "code". But by being in that restaurant today, I got to share my story of agriculture and now that story can be passed on. 

And honestly, the tacos were delicious :)  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hello Stranger ( plus a bunch of branding business)

Hey there! 

Remember me? 

Yeah, it's been a while.

But I'm back now! And better than ever. 

For the last few months, I confess I've been a bit behind with Fact or Hogwash. To tell the truth, I was getting a little discouraged. My links weren't quite hitting the audience I'd liked and it just didn't seem like anything I posted was having an effect on anyone. Then something happened.

I have no idea how. 

But one of my pictures WENT VIRAL. I mean, INSANELY VIRAL. (the funny part being, it wasn't even one of my favorite pictures.)

And while it wasn't the best way for me to learn that "even one person reached has made a difference", it definitely helped motivate me to get my bum in gear again. I made myself a pact to post at least once or twice a day and to have original material at least three times a week. 

Then I took a look at everything. Random profile picture, random cover, even more random blog... this wasn't helping me define my audience at all. There needed to be a change. 

While I may not have been on Fact or Hogwash these last couple months, I have been busy. Some of you may know that I'm also a photographer and a new one at that. I've been working on developing a brand for my photo business and it hit me:

Fact or Hogwash NEEDED a brand. 

I got to work. I liked the idea of the "confirmed" stamps you sometimes see on papers and I also knew I'd LOVE a script as an accent. The tagline "real facts. real farms." came to me almost instantly and I knew I didn't have to look any further for a line. The choice to have two colors also helps with the identity. It's simple, it's clean, and most of all, it's catchy. People can now look at both my facebook and my blog and see a uniform idea. It's strong and reinforces the goal behind Fact or Hogwash. 

the Facebook makeover

the new look

So now that this is built up and (in my opinion), quite beautiful, I'm excited to start posting much more. I'm attending the Agvocacy 2.0 event in Kansas City in August, which I'm confident will help me spread my message even more. 

Now it's your turn: Fact or Hogwash can't really make that much of an impact unless you SHARE SHARE SHARE. The Internet has made it really easy to do this too. Be a pal and pass the word along :)