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The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

All Hat And All Cattle

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

By M.P. Cremer

A few weeks ago, I attended our county’s annual Farm Bureau dinner and meeting. Many good things came from this meeting: I got to eat a well-prepared steak, I took on a more active role within our county’s Farm Bureau chapter and I got to visit with a reader about my column. The last item on this list was incredibly insightful, and I’m happy to share this reader’s thoughts.

The reader said he noticed a lot of my columns had one common bottom line: advocating for agriculture. However, he said a lot of the ideas I give as examples for advocating includes things some people aren’t comfortable with. 

For example, some people aren’t comfortable walking up to a complete stranger at a grocery store and educating them about the produce in their buggy – fair point. Others aren’t active on social media, so they don’t have an opportunity to make or share pro-ag posts – yet another fair point.

“But,” the reader said, “you can have a positive experience with a person, and when you have that positive experience, you can make it known you work in agriculture.”

The reader then went on to say even the simplest act of wearing a cowboy hat and having a positive interaction with someone you don’t know very well could subliminally give the person a positive opinion of cattlemen.

I sat there for a minute and realized he’s 100 percent correct. If I see someone who looks like they just walked out of the hayfield, I automatically assume they’re a nice person. 

I’ve had many positive interactions with people who spend a lot of their summers on a tractor in a hay field, so why wouldn’t I think they’re a decent human being with a noble profession? 

On the contrary, in college, I had many negative interactions with guys wearing Dale Brisby swag. If I saw a dude wearing a shirt saying “Pow Pow Ol’ Son” on it, I would automatically assume they don’t know the difference between a steer and a bull.

There’s an old saying, “A bad apple can ruin the whole bunch,” but what if a good apple makes you buy more? There are numerous examples I could give for this, but I’ll pose with a counter example.

A lot of people out there do not like former President Donald Trump; just as many people do not like President Joe Biden.

If you loathed Trump, and saw someone wearing a Make America Great Again cap, what would you assume? On the flip side, if you saw someone wearing a Biden 2020 shirt at the gas pump, what would you assume?

I am by no means saying these assumptions are correct – I know plenty of great people who voted for someone I didn’t particularly like. But, if you see a stranger at a restaurant supporting something you don’t agree with, what are you going to think of them?

Now, if this principal can be applied to negative assumptions, why can’t it be applied to a positive assumption?

By supporting agriculture in the simplest way possible – wearing some type of “uniform” to show you’re an agriculturist – you’re advocating for the ag industry without having to do anything, really, except laundry, I guess.

Furthermore, when you’re wearing the “uniform,” leave your waitress a good tip; hold the door for the person behind you; heck, you could even smile at the young kid having the time of their life running up and down the aisles at the grocery store.

I guess the bottom line of this column is, once again, advocate for agriculture, but I’d like to tack on a little bit extra: Wear your industry “uniform” with pride and a smile on your face.

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