How many customers walk the aisles of Walmart each week? Answer: 104 million customers go through Walmart’s doors each week according to Joe Quinn, Senior Director of Issue Management and Strategic Outreach for Walmart Corporate Affairs. That’s astonishing. How many of those 104 million consumers make conscious shopping decisions based on agriculture?
I heard this number during the three-day National Outstanding Young Farmers Congress hosted by the Outstanding Farmers of America, which recognizes the top 10 National Outstanding Young Farmers. During the conference a forum, featuring speakers from John Deere, Tyson, University of Arkansas and Walmart, was held.
The representatives answered that very question for me.
Dr. Michael T. Kidd with the University of Arkansas explained that 95 percent of customers are just trying to feed their families. This is “mom.” She is coming to Walmart to purchase items as economically and as quick as possible as she makes healthy choices for her family.
The next group makes up 4 percent of shoppers. This group is the one who buys what is popular at the time – the buzzword group. They make buying decisions based on what’s hot now, things like free range, organic or vegan. I’m sure you know the type.
That leaves 1 percent. This is the most threatening percentage. They are the extremists making all the noise. They prey on those who are removed from the farm.
So how do we counteract that 1 percent? The same group of people who target animal agriculture day in and day out.
Mr. Quinn said that it is difficult for agriculture to counteract this group due to the lack of manpower available to tell our story. There are so many issues facing agriculture such as hunger and government regulations that telling our story becomes very difficult.
So how do we tell our story and how are we going to get people who are removed from the farm to listen? This is a growing issue and a serious one, unfortunately there is no cookie cutter answer.
There are so many groups who are trying to do just that. I commend groups like I Love Farmers, Protect the Harvest and Missouri Farmers Care. May we all fight like them.
Ozarks Farm & Neighbor is focused on that – telling the story of farmers in the Ozarks. Thank you to our readers for helping us spread the word.
On an unrelated note – I need your favorite family recipes. I collect recipes all year long to run in our paper and to prepare for our Country Christmas Cookbook. Send your recipes to P.O. Box 6, Prairie Grove, AR, 72753, Attn:  Lynzee or by email to [email protected].


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