There is a long-standing battle between the concept of family farms and agribusiness—even the names alone convey conclusions. One is perceived as good and the other the greatest threat to our way of life and a healthy food chain. What do you do when the attackers of big farming either misunderstand or misinform critical audiences and threaten livelihoods?
When that conflict came to a head in Maryland, Perdue turned to LEVICK to develop and execute a strategy to come to the rescue by emphasizing the family farms who are part of their network and reclaiming the narrative in a hostile environment.
A Maryland family faced bankruptcy as a result of a lawsuit filed by an activist environmental group. The litigation underscored the need for longer-term public awareness of how single-minded environmental agendas can sometimes clash with regional farm families who grow most of what America eats, and who must increase output if they are to continue to do so.
As part of the strategy, Perdue created a dedicated online initiative named SaveFarmFamilies.org to encourage people to raise money for the family’s legal fees. Then we directly challenged the environmental group via an aggressive digital campaign that retook the narrative high ground. The story changed from being about agribusiness to being about family farming.
SaveFarmFamilies.org won national attention for its cause and secured a powerful ally when Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley wrote to the dean of the University of Maryland School of Law that the lawsuit should be dropped as it “perpetrates a great injustice.” Our counter-offensive has had an impact on similar lawsuits elsewhere.
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