Agricultural advertising campaigns are everywhere in the US today.
Whether it’s TV or print ads, commercials, magazine articles, or websites, the American public has become accustomed to the ubiquitous, but increasingly problematic, idea that agriculture is a “job creator”.
However, if you are a farmer, you may not have the same sense of the term.
While agriculture advertising can be a powerful form of marketing, it’s often not the case.
For one, most of the advertising campaigns focus on what the farmer is selling, rather than what the consumer wants to buy.
Farmers have long struggled to sell a product that’s actually what they are selling.
As a result, many farmers feel they are being left out of a much-needed conversation about farming and the benefits of growing food.
In fact, the idea of farmers selling more of their products is a key plank in the American farm lobby.
But while most farmers have little understanding of the role that agriculture advertising plays in the economy, the USDA has long argued that agricultural advertising is a way to educate and inform.
And so it has gone to great lengths to make it easier for farmers to use their product and their advertising to raise awareness about their product, while at the same time being clear about the government’s policies.
So, where does the USDA stand on the issue?
The USDA has issued guidance to states and localities that have received farm advertising.
In particular, the guidance outlines three categories of agricultural advertising that can be conducted on a farmer’s behalf: (1) public relations campaigns; (2) agricultural marketing campaigns; and (3) other marketing, including marketing on social media.
It’s not clear if these guidelines are applicable to all types of agricultural ads, but they’re designed to help ensure that farmers are given an equal opportunity to participate in the discussion around their product.
For example, it is clear that a farmer can ask the USDA for help with the promotion of a product or program.
For instance, the Agriculture Marketing Agency is currently asking states and cities to create their own marketing campaigns.
But it’s not always clear how these guidelines apply to advertising campaigns that the USDA considers offensive.
The USDA guidance doesn’t explicitly address what constitutes an offensive campaign, or whether farmers are free to use any advertising tactics they choose.
For many farmers, however, these guidelines do seem to make a difference.
“I have a lot of confidence that the guidelines are helpful,” said David Tackett, who is a director of the USDA’s National Agriculture Communications Center and a member of the Agriculture Committee of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Rural Development.
“They’re an important tool for farmers and for the government to use.”
Tacketts, a former USDA employee who now runs a food marketing company, says the guidelines have allowed him to better understand the types of information farmers can use in their advertising campaigns.
“It makes me more aware of what to include and what not to include,” Tackets said.
“When it comes to marketing, I see the guidelines as a tool to help farmers understand what’s important for their message.”
But Tacket says he has not been able to use the guidance in a way that he believes will benefit his company.
“We are very fortunate that we have this opportunity to get out into the marketplace and talk to the public and talk about the benefits that they’re seeing and how to promote that to the consumer,” he said.
In addition, Tackers is concerned that some of the guidelines will be applied unevenly.
For starters, it may not apply to any agricultural advertising, even if it’s public relations or advertising that is meant to promote the product or a program.
In this scenario, farmers who are asked to participate are expected to comply with the rules.
“This is really a no-brainer,” Tachetts said.
But that’s not the only reason farmers aren’t getting the message.
As mentioned, Tacking says he’s not sure that the guidance is particularly helpful for his company, as he says he’d like to be able to target his campaign in specific areas.
“If I had my own company, I would probably go after the farmers who have the biggest problem with marketing,” he added.
The guidelines also apply to the USDA guidelines, which Tackes says should be able be applied equally to all farmers.
“The guidelines are good, but there’s no way I would ever be able get a good outcome if the guidelines were applied equally,” he explained.
“And that’s a concern with these guidelines.”
Tacks is one of many farmers who feel that the government has been too restrictive with the guidance.
In his view, the guidelines aren’t really helping farmers to educate themselves, and they’re also not helpful for the USDA.
“There are a lot more issues that we’re going to be having to address in the future,” he noted. “For