Land Management Ignorance and What to do about It

U.S. agriculture has become so efficient in modern times that <1.6% Americans gather our food and fiber. As society moves farther from the land, it understands less and less about land management. This has resulted in a protectionist attitude, instead of a "use—but use wisely" philosophy. Agriculturists, foresters, and fish and wildlife managers are all affected by society's land management ignorance. Instead of fighting with each other, or with extreme anti- groups, we should combine resources to attack the real target enemy—land management ignorance. I believe the most effective audience to address are 4th-6th grade school children. The most effective weapons are volunteer-led programs, such as Ag-inthe- Classroom, Project Wild, Project Learning Tree, etc.; children-oriented programs on prime-time television; paid advertisements using children's cartoons and role models; top quality music videos; and high quality demonstrations and exhibits. These should be provided free for teachers and youth program volunteers to use. We should re-direct some of our current Information and Education (I and E) section funding, but seek most of the cost from industry and private foundations. It will be expensive if done right, but effective—and the money is available.

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