Butler, L.1; Bennett, L.2; Boughton, E.3; Boughton, R.4; Crawford, S.5; Davis, T.6; Hodges, A.7; Kirby, C.8; Prevatt, C.9; Stice, B.10; Wiggins, L.11
1County Extension Director/ Livestock Agent, UF/IFAS, Okeechobee, FL, 34972
2Mutli-County Livestock Agent, UF/IFAS, Dade City, FL, 338253
3Program Director, Archbold Research Station, Venus, FL, 33960
4Assistant Professor Rangeland Wildlife, UF/IFAS, Ona, FL, 33865
5Livestock/4-H Agent, UF/IFAS, Labelle, FL, 33975
6Livestock and Natural Resources Agent, UF/IFAS, Sebring, FL, 33875
7Emeritous Professor, UF/IFAS, Gainesville, FL, 32611
8Livestock Agent, UF/IFAS, Palmetto, FL, 34221
9State Specialized Agent, UF/IFAS, Ona, FL, 33865
10Livestock Agent, UF/IFAS, Bartow, FL, 33831
11Multi-County Livestock Agent, UF/IFAS, Labelle, FL, 33975


L.Butler1 Bennett, L.2, Boughton, E.3, Boughton, R.4, Crawford. S.5, Davis, T.6, Hodges, A.7, Kirby, C.8, Prevatt, C.9, Stice, B.10, Wiggins, L.11


As the population increases to over 22 million in Florida, and public perception of agriculture changes, agriculture producers are meeting never-ending challenges. Over the years Florida’s landscape has changed to accommodate the numerous residents in the coastal areas. Some of these changes have led to environmental impacts and misperceptions about the role agriculture has played. That public issue combined with the lingering animal rights pressure has created a conflict between agriculturalists and consumers. The purpose of this task force was to create simple, easy to use graphics as a tool for cattlemen to educate policymakers and consumers. The ultimate goal is connecting consumers with Florida ranching agriculture and turn misinformation and misperceptions into a healthy and productive conversation about agricultural progress in food production and land management. Through a collaborative effort of multiple UF/IFAS livestock agents and state specialists, the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Cattlemen’s Association a series of infographics were designed that highlight the positive impacts ranching makes to the environment, how it influences the economy, how ranchers utilize best management practices and how they play a part in a safe food supply. These infographics have been distributed among national policy influencers (128 Senators and Congressmen), state policymakers (160 Senators and Florida Representatives), consumers and ranchers, and on many avenues of social media.  It is impossible to gauge how these infographics have truly impacted the agricultural industry. The only statistic that can factually be used is the original post on the Florida Cattlemen’s Facebook page which had 86 shares and 17,187 views. Through this effort, consumers and policymakers gain a better understanding of the progressive food system, an appreciation for the efforts made by producers, and clarification of misinformation about the health of our food supply. These infographics foster supportive policy regarding research, national and statewide conservation funding, and ranching advocacy. 

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