Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Farmers and Ranchers are Winning

It seems these days that animal agriculture is under attack from all sides. Large, well-healed anti-animal agriculture groups are attacking family farmers and ranchers in the media, in the courts and in the legislature. But the more I thought about it, these attacks are proof of just how good those of us in agriculture are at our jobs.

Think about it. Do countries with less food security have groups who criticize their farmers and ranchers? Do they question the methods their farmers and ranchers use to produce their food? Do they wish agriculture could go back to a system of smaller, less productive farms?

Of course they don't. People in those countries are worried about where their next meal is coming from and hoping that the farmers and ranchers of the world will produce enough food. Yet a small group of well-fed, well-healed activists in our country find it quite easy to criticize our farmers and ranchers for utilizing modern advances to produce the food that feeds our nation and our world.

You see it is easy to complain about how food is produced when you are not hungry, when you know the grocery store will have what you want and when you know you can afford whatever you want. Most of these activists have no connection to agriculture and do not understand the science, experience and intuition farmers and ranchers use to raise the animals and plants we all eat.

I am so proud of my fellow farmers and ranchers who have stood up to these special interest groups to tell the truth about agriculture. I truly believe that as consumers know us as individuals, know the blood, sweat tears and the technology we combine everyday to produce the meal on their plate, they will choose to listen to us. That is why these groups have ramped up their propaganda and why they are attacking us so personally. In short, they know if the consumer gets to know us, their false attacks will not work.

I am not asking the consumer to blindly believe the farmers and ranchers who feed them. I am asking that they learn more about agriculture from those who really know about it, those same farmers and ranchers. Then they can make a fair and balanced decision based on the facts and not glitzy propaganda.