EDUCATING THE PUBLIC, WHO’S JOB IS IT?

EDUCATING THE PUBLIC, WHO’S JOB IS IT?
EDUCATING THE PUBLIC, WHO’S JOB IS IT?

Over the last number of years, agriculture has come under the microscope. The way food is produced, the new technology, the new methods have been coming under more intense scrutiny. And that is a good thing. People need to know how their food is being produced. No farmer or agriculture producer should fear that. Agriculture producers are always new adopters of technology. And that is a good thing. Unfortunately, technology is also being used to deploy en-mass a host of information, some which is tainted with a bit of truth and some that are outright lies. That is a bad thing. Social media nowadays can get a message around the globe in a matter of seconds. Some have taken the opportunity to use this platform for their own purposes, by sowing fear and mistrust amongst the consumers.

Being more specific, agriculture producers have been portrayed as a collective group of individuals who don’t have a substantial amount of education, and are slaves to the Corporations, spraying on toxic substances to their produce and being forced to grow GMO seeds which have caused almost every sickness known to man. As this concept slowly gained momentum, we sat back and did nothing. These inaccurate voices gained traction and began to get momentum with consumers. Where were the agricultural producers to rebut these incorrect assertions? We were out doing what we do… producing food to feed a hungry world. We don’t get wrapped up in political and social ideologies on the big stage, yet our absence from that stage has been our very downfall. If there is no contrary voice to the propaganda being spewed, then in the consumers mind the information presented MUST be correct, or else we would have a countering argument complete with facts to present our case. To not be there to present our side… that is a bad thing.

But now we are seeing the dawn of a new day, where there is starting to be a collective voice rising up to answer the people who have been fed this misinformation, but are eager for our reply. agricultural producers are speaking out- they ARE giving a reply to those who are asking. Men and women are stepping up to the microphone.  The recently released “License To Farm” is an excellent video to watch, as it gives a factual reply to those questions, which every consumer should watch. With less that 3.7% of the population directly involved in agriculture, this message needs to be sent out.

This is just the start. I have and still belong to various groups who have a checkoff for the commodites we produce, with the idea that those collective funds go toward furthering that particular industry. I have said this for a number of years now, that if there was ever a checkoff EVERY agricultural producer should be participating in, it would be one that goes towards educating the public on what REALLY is happening with they food they eat, and how safely it is produced. And that…would be a good thing.