by Dr. Erika Nagorske
Last week I had the opportunity to attend the American Association of Bovine Practitioners annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina. This meeting is considered one of the most comprehensive scientific programs ever assembled on cattle disease and production. It provides excellent educational opportunities as well as networking opportunities to discuss medicine practices with other bovine veterinarians.
Although I attended an amazing seminar on Fresh Cow Management, I was most impressed by the keynote speaker at the conference. His name was Vance Crowe, and he is the Director of Millennial Engagement at Monsanto. His job title intrigued me to attend the keynote address, and I am glad I did.
He spoke to us on how to help others overcome the fear of modern of agriculture. He emphasized the importance of showing our loyalty to agriculture. He believes if we show people we care about the same things they care about (healthy cows and calves, safe food supply, etc.), they will be much more open to what we have to say. I found this interesting, because along with many others in agriculture, I figured blasting people with facts would make them understand their misconceptions. Vance said exactly the opposite. He believes if you start by defending your beliefs, by shooting down theirs, they naturally become defensive. At the end of the day, most uninformed people don’t care about scientific research or proof, they care about group loyalty. They will believe something from someone who cares the same core values as they do, just by nature. So going forward, I would like to challenge our agriculture community to sharing our values and loyalties to animal health, food safety, and improving agriculture. Get out there on social media and show everyone why we love what we do, and why we will continue to do it for generations to come.