GFM Network News


Trying to disprove myths can actually have the opposite effect ­— the ‘backfire’ effect.”

Get the story right

Why it’s so hard to debunk myths (and the secret to doing it)

The expression “mud sticks” doesn’t just refer to the aggravation you experience during spring planting. It also means that misinformation seems to have an uncanny knack for settling in and never letting go. Take, for instance, these gems that persist despite (or perhaps because of) an online world of information at our fingertips: bovine flatulence […] Read more

Throwing more information at consumers won’t fill up their knowledge gap. We need to use science.

Filling in the knowledge gaps for consumers

Understanding the science of why consumers get so much wrong about agriculture can help us put them right

It’s not an earth-shattering revelation to those working in agriculture that there is a farm-to-plate knowledge gap. We know that most consumers are generations removed from the farm and have misconceptions or a lack of accurate information about agriculture. The Knowledge Gap theory is that information has traditionally been more accessible to those with higher […] Read more


As stress levels spiral out of control and the rational front cortex of the brain shuts down, it’s more difficult to think and act rationally.

How to argue, intelligently

It's the Old Brain vs. the New Brain

In an increasingly polarized world, arguing seems to be a favourite pastime. Trolls (those delightful online creatures who start quarrels and sow discord for fun) treat the internet like a no-holds-barred Wild West. Others get lost in detailed rants and forget to listen — or forget what they were arguing about in the first place. […] Read more

Are you wagging your finger? Are you defensively crossing your arms? Are you avoiding eye contact? These set off a fight-or-flight response in the other person.

Tough talk

How to respond to questions you don’t want to answer

In the age of social media, consumers are feeling empowered to ask more and more questions, which means that answering questions about farm practices has become another “to-do” on your already supercharged list. Farmers not only play an important role in the food conversation, they can be said to have a duty to participate in […] Read more


Six steps to better consumer conversations

The science is worth learning. Gaining knowledge about why consumers behave the way they do and make the decisions they do is essential to building constructive, forward-thinking dialogue, engaging in artful and “value-added” arguments, and educating and influencing your audience. One way to gain insight into how the human brain processes information is by exploring[...]
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For farmers, social media is more than just a platform to “agvocate.

Why you should be on social media

... it isn’t the reason you think

Technology is ubiquitous on today’s farms, and your social life is no exception. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow farmers to share their stories, engage and educate consumers, and connect with and learn from others in their industry around the world. While some current research does point to the pitfalls of social[...]
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