Instilling fear in your customer at the expense of your neighbor is weak marketing, it’s wrong, and does no good for the community as a whole. It leads to the spread of misinformation, lies, and a general belief in this misinformation as fact by those who fail to do their research. Then, when concerned individuals try to share another side to the story, they are assumed to be spreading propaganda and lies. We’re left in a heap of a mess because no one knows who to believe anymore.
I don’t care if you think GMO‘s from Monsanto are the devil, it doesn’t make you the bigger person for saying so just to line your pocketbook. I don’t care if you think small-scale organic farming has no place in feeding the world, you shouldn’t bash them because they are responding to customer demand. If you can’t market your own product without cutting your neighbor off at the knees for their farming practices, you should reevaluate your business plan.
See a more extensive conversation about this topic between a variety of farmers on this Facebook post.
Each and every style of farming has its place, has developed as a result of customer demand, and plays its role in feeding the world (whether that be local or global scale). We’re cutting our own selves off at the knees by dividing our selves in the public eye. Food and animal rights activists love to see this happen because it makes our community weaker.
We’re in the same business together – providing food for our customers and fuel and fiber products for the world. It’s high time we learn exactly how stubborn we are, step out of the trenches, and realize this. I’m not asking for everyone to hold hands and sing hymns, just quit bashing your neighbor.
Customers don’t know who to turn to for food information. Book authors, Daytime talk shows, and mainstream media have become trusted sources for food information because they are selling sensational, exciting stories – regardless of scientific investigation or background research.
When a farmer like myself steps up to share my story, I’m faced with criticism for selling propaganda for the likes of Monsanto or the Beef industry because my story isn’t as sexy as what was just on television. Yes, I believe farmers, ranchers, and those working in Agriculture are the best to share the story because they are the ones on the ground witnessing what goes on. At the same time, those concerns raised are legitimate and we need to take a look at how/if we can address them.
I do not see how agriculture will make any real progress with gaining customer trust until we own up to our own mistakes. There are always improvements to be made with modern techniques, that’s why learning is a life-long process.
I am guilty of this myself, and it’s a learning process for all. But that doesn’t mean we can’t change for the better.
We speak of heritage and strength of community within Agriculture, it’s time we really back up those statements. Embrace the fact that there is more than one way of doing things, including farming and food production. If you don’t agree with something, embrace the ability to choose and stick your money with the products your support. Have an open mind and spend time listening to those with whom you disagree. I promise you’ll learn something.