By Gary Joiner

Modern attitudes toward agriculture are interesting. And challenging.

You wonder if farmers and ranchers are trustworthy? Yes, they are! About 75 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion toward farmers and ranchers, according to a recent survey.

What about the way they farm or ranch? Not so much. Only 42 percent view farming and ranching methods favorably.

It’s a classic battle of trust versus skepticism.

Consumer trust in American agriculture must be strengthened. It’s going to take an open and honest dialogue with you, agriculture’s consumers. Transparency and access to information are critical. It’s what you use to make your decisions as you walk down the grocery store aisles.

There are some tough issues to navigate, though. And attitudes won’t change overnight. Farmers and ranchers get that. But opinions and understanding can be improved.

The key is who delivers the message. It must be delivered by the people whom consumers already trust: American farmers and ranchers.

You deserve to have your questions about food answered truthfully by the people who grow it. Farmers and ranchers are the trusted source on food production. They can provide consumers honest and accurate information.

The conversation has already begun. And it continues to grow.

Texas farmers are on Twitter and share the events of their day in 140 characters or less, showing you the view from the tractor cab, discussing market trends and even prices. You’ll see their families out on the farm, working together to grow the products you see in the store.

Find them on Facebook, and get a peek inside their day.

They’re working to bridge that gap and to connect with you. They’re happy to share.

Not trusting the methods of modern farming and ranching isn’t the fault of consumers. It’s the result of a vacuum of information. Farmers and ranchers are filling that void. It’s a person, and story, you can trust.

Gary Joiner