Monday, April 1, 2013

Fair Oaks Farms: Transparency, Education and Communication

This summer, Fair Oaks Farms will be opening the new Pig Adventure! The goal is to mirror the success the dairy farm has had in educating consumers about the dairy industry. The dairy, which milks roughly 40,000 cows has taken it upon themselves to help provide transparency in the industry.

Typically, large farms are considered to be bad for the animals because of the negative stigma that has been attached to the size and type of farm. The truth is that most of production animal agriculture happens on these farm, which are still family owned farms. Agriculture has struggled to provide positive views of the industry and all that we do to protect our animals and raise them humanely following the best protocols we can.

Fair Oaks has built their operation right on the side of the interstate with the idea that we have nothing to hide, you want to know about your food, and we want to show you! The pig adventure will follow a similar idea to the dairy.

Inside the Skybox
There will be an education center so that people can come and learn all about the pork industry, and then you can go and tour a production hog farm! Once at the hog farm, you will go into a building that leads to a sky box overlooking the operation from inside the walls! Inside this sky box you will be able to see all of the operations happening from breeding, gestation, farrowing and weaning. There will be representatives from Fair Oaks Farms there to be your tour guides and explain many of the processes involved in raising pigs to anyone who is interested.

I am particularly excited for the Fair Oaks Pig Adventure to open because this summer, I will be one of the tour guides! I look forward to learning more about Fair Oaks vision for showing transparency and educating consumers at the same time!

The power of social media and communications is a pig part of what happens at Fair Oaks. Using social media to communicate our message as an industry has helped us start many conversations about where food comes from, all the way from farm to fork. The old saying that "a picture is worth a thousand words" has nothing on the ability to create a youtube video that shows you first hand what we do when we are raising pigs. Fair Oaks Pig Adventure has already began posting videos on their youtube channel to show people what they can see when they come visit Fair Oaks.

I am very excited to be working with this great organization this summer and begin many conversations about the pork industry this summer. I'm not sure what all I will be doing this summer, but you can be assured that I will be posting all about it on my Facebook and Twitter! So if you're interested in learning more about commercial animal production and where your food comes from I encourage you to come to Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana this summer for a family getaway on the farm!