This is the second part of a two-part story. Read Part One: Whatever It Takes: Pat Bane Shares His Story
Bane’s quick to admit there is a lot of mystery surrounding raising pigs because much of it is done indoors. He has devoted great time throughout the past 30 years to sharing his pig farming story with consumers.
“The public has to know we’re doing the right things to care for our animals and keep them healthy,” Bane says. “We need to foster an increased understanding about how their food is raised with today’s modern technology. It’s not only good for us as farmers, but good for them as consumers. You can’t drive that point home enough.”
Throughout the next year, Bane will travel throughout the U.S. sharing the story of pig farming with a much larger audience.
“I’m more comfortable in the barn than speaking in front of a big crowd, but I’ve worked into it slowly,” he says. “In my younger days, I wasn’t big on interviews or public speaking. However, through my involvement in county and state farm bureau groups, I have learned how to advocate for agriculture.”
Bane hopes his time on the road visiting with consumers will help them achieve a better understanding of how their food is raised.
“I think it’s important to emphasize to the public that the use of technology in farming is beneficial from a sustainability standpoint,” he says. “Too often we talk about efficiencies and technologies and people equate it to money. But it’s those very same technologies that allow us to decrease our carbon footprint, decrease water use, etc. I think it’s important that we draw those two thoughts together and make the connection for the public.”
In a world of quick answers and short sound bites, Bane believes farmers should stop and take the time to explain the reasons why they do what they do.
“We can either educate people about how we raise pigs or the pork they eat may start to come from somewhere else. If the public doesn’t approve of it, it won’t happen,” he says. “There is no free license, we have to earn the right in our communities to do what we do.”