Agriculture spawns its own fringe group


Sadly agriculture now has its own twitter fringe group, a very negative group that attacks anyone in agriculture who isn’t totally obsessed with Animals Australia and their demise.

Some of them have even gone to the trouble of setting up anonymous twitter accounts to become faceless trolls stalking those in the middle who have no interest in joining them in their vendetta.

The best way to handle these people is to do what agriculture should be doing with Animals Australia is not give them oxygen, don’t engage, let them wallow in their own self-absorbed world, let them play the victim and DON’T let them drain your energy. BLOCK THEM.

Like Animals Australia we won’t change these people, they are so self-absorbed they can’t see the damage they are doing to the agriculture brand, so don’t bother to try.

Instead we need to visibly support each other and show our urban consumer base the real agriculture. I salute all the people who, aren’t game to put their hands up for fear of being the butt of troll rage,yet take the time to DM support to the people who are. But it is imperative we are all visible and show these people that we, the current silent majority, want to be the change agriculture must have.

I also salute passionate people like Bess Gairns who writes from the heart  Advocating for AGvocaters


Love this pix thanks for this one Krysteen  @bkmcelroy22

I would like to share some thoughts on leadership which I have adapted from this great post Leading a culture shift that I think are relevant to agriculture


We see the evidence of leadership everywhere we go.

So what makes the difference?


The way people see and engage with others. The way these leaders embrace and value people. For some leaders, people are an afterthought. For others, people are everything.

So How Do We Lead This Way?

Instead of telling people how to behave, they equip them how to think. It’s less about behaviour modification (which you can do for a pet), and more about “perspective transformation.” Team members gain a new perspective and can respond and act.

If we’re going to transform our teams, we must change the way we equip them. We must build a new DNA, a new culture on the team. This requires organic, not merely programmatic, changes.

Let me offer suggestions on some shifts leaders must make:

1. Teach team members how to think and perceive the world.

This sounds huge, but it can start small. Just begin to talk about how to look at people and goals. Talk about perspective. Illustrate how to think, not just what to think. If you can change the way people think, you can change the way they act.

2. Model the way and embody the values.

Organizational culture changes happen when leaders set examples for what they want from their teams and attach actions to their core values.

3. Surround yourself with other people that “get it.”

Seek out and find others that already embrace the kind of culture you wish to see in agriculture.

4. Cultivate small communities to tell stories.

Interaction and storytelling are contagious.

5. Align your values and objectives to reflect the new reality.

Celebrate these people. What gets rewarded gets repeated. Be sure that your core values and your objectives all reflect this new culture you’re putting in place. Alignment brings energy to people.

Finally in the words of Tom Peters

“Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.”

BTW Great article from Colin Bettles here

and this wise advice from The Conversation – Personality differences: trolls and cyberstalkers aren’t the same

Author: Lynne Strong

I am a 6th generation farmer who loves surrounding myself with optimistic, courageous people who believe in inclusion, diversity and equality and embrace the power of collaboration. I am the founder of Picture You in Agriculture. Our team design and deliver programs that inspire pride in Australian agriculture and support young people to thrive in business and life

13 thoughts on “Agriculture spawns its own fringe group”

  1. yes , but isn’t it turmoil that leads to change? Why do things have to get worse before they can get better?

  2. Fantastic to read this. I’m working on a piece for my own blog with the working title “when vegan is not a swearword” about the ways people who really care about animal rights can and do assist agriculture industries (albeit not livestock producers) – because they do, and can, and I love processes that work out because of unlikely allies. While the issue is going to remain confronting and problematic if not insoluble, dismissing animal rights advocates as “the looney extremist fringe” exaggerates the divide and doesn’t help anyone get anywhere. And I’m noticing that the shift in demand from consumers over the last decade towards a closer farmer-consumer relationship is a trend that some farmers are embracing but that others don’t seem to perceive.

    1. the majority of vegans and vegetarians I know are still consumers of livestock products in what they wear and the animal byproducts In reality its almost impossible to be a true vegan These people make a choice not to consume meat I totally respect that

  3. Great post, Lynne. Many abusive animal activists want to create the perception that farmers are nasty, cruel people only motivated by money. Behaving like a troll in response is a just a tad counter-productive.

  4. I disagree, the full range and spectrum of opinions needs to be heard in order to find middle ground. I don’t expect anybody to fully agree with my stance but I can respect your opinion without totally agreeing as well.

    1. abusive people make themselves look silly, trying to force anybody into agreeance. Those who have a voice of reason stand out even brighter by comparison so I would be happy to call them a leader. Does a leader necessarily have to have devoted followers who only agree? Or does a leader surround themselves with those who challenge their views? (Did I read that in one of your blogs Lynne? am I learning? 😉 )

      1. Sorry Marion, It was in regard to Lynnes earlier comment about those that maintain the rage. Its not my way, but it does feel like the debate has a little more balance if there are those willing to defend ag with their claws out. I was thinking they were warriors for agriculture, shining a light on Animals Australia. You both are right tho, its no good when innocent people get hurt, especially the ones they are supposed to be protecting. so whats to be done about the peddling of guilt that leads to farmers being shunned as cruel when we actually uphold the fabric of society?

  5. Thanks for clarifying that, Deb.

    It’s really tempting to fight fire with fire, especially when it feels so unjust but there are two things I try to live by on social media (which apply equally in real life):

    1. Your point about the abusive people making fools of themselves. Better to keep the high moral ground than sink to their level and emerge muddied!

    2. You can’t hold a good discussion with interested people while, at the same time, having a shouting match with somebody else. Focus on the conversations you want to have.

    The people who call us cruel will keep on calling us cruel, no matter what we say or do. Most Aussies appreciate farmers and plenty really want to know more. I’m going to save my breath for them.

  6. Last week, after a timeline that seemed to bulge with poor behaviour from a small but vocal group of people, I got particularly frustrated and had a ‘spat’ about the constant abuse towards animal rights individuals. I broke my own rule about not speaking out in such frustration, and allowing the sparks and emotions to settle.
    I remind myself that it is easy for me to stand back. I am not in the middle of a devastating drought, with cattle that are starving, feeling the sting of abuse as I am told I am a piece of scum as a livestock producer because animals should not be killed and consumed.
    What concerns me greatly is the effect I see this having on people and my argument was, and still is, that when we engage in the same reciprocal behaviour, we are losing our power through rage and lowering ourselves.
    The animal rights movement has a very strong and organised core, and like Colin Bettles, in his excellent article, highlighted above, they aren’t disappearing.
    It needs to be noted that not all vegans are animal rights activists and that some animal rights activists eat meat. Some are left winged and some right. You simply can’t label everyone as the same. I have a few friends who are vegan and they are very caring people that have taken a personal stance on eating meat. Who am I to judge. They are good people I care about.
    When I was in my teens, I decided I could not eat the flesh of animals and I became a vegan for several months, much to my mother’s frustration. (Nutmeat or tvp were about all you could get!) After a while I decided this was not for me and went back to eating meat. Over the last couple of years, after visiting abattoirs and seeing animals humanely slaughtered,plus asking lots of questions, I am happy with where I am in my personal journey.
    Agriculture has a challenged time ahead with extremists, and needs to bring out its finest representatives, not to challenge, so much as to convince the public who question that it is possible to produce livestock with great care and a high level of welfare. .it may be possible to curtail some issues through lobbying or legislation. Your best assets to have would surely be the general public, confident in the knowledge of our high welfare standards
    Education will be important also and this will be a gradual and ongoing process.
    A confident, united front of people supported by farming organisations
    Spending the time to connect, listen and inform the general public is surely one of the best investments agriculture could make!

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