Time and time again, I see articles shared throughout my newsfeed about the agriculture industry and its harmful effects on the environment or GMO, natural, and organically raised products being the better products for your health and well-being. However, time and time again, the general public is wrong and uneducated. So, with spring rolling around and farmers itching to get back into the fields, I wanted to address some of the most controversial issues in the agriculture industry and educate the public properly from a farmer's daughter's perspective.
Farmer's need to control their pesticide uses because they are harming the environment.
Wrong. Did you know that "according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, homeowners apply pesticides at a rate up to ten times higher (per acre) than farmers." So while you are trying to kill all of those pesky dandelions that come up every spring and use ten times the amount of chemicals per acre, farmers are using much less and growing the food you eat. Chew on that the next time you want to complain about farmers' negative effects on the environment.
GMO's, or genetically modified organisms, are harmful to my body and to the environment.
First, genetically modified seeds use fewer amounts of pesticides and chemicals making them better for the environment. Second, have you ever heard the term, "RoundUp Ready Corn?" Well, if not, it is a commonly used genetically modified crop that contains the herbicide Glysophate in it. This herbicide "has toxicity 25 times less than caffeine," making it extremely safe for humans to digest. Yet, farmers still hear the words "GMO's aren't safe" and consumers continually look for products that are coined with labels such as "GMO Free" and "Organic." Farmers eat too, why would we grow products that are harmful to our own bodies?
Antibiotics are harmful to animals.
Sorry, but you're still wrong. Think of the term antibiotics. What do humans use antibiotics for? We definitely don't use them to grow larger bodies physically, a common misconception the general public has about livestock productions. Antibiotics are used to help treat the animals when illnesses arise and also to prevent diseases from occurring. Fun fact, there are also more hormones added to a cup of soy milk than 4 oz. of beef, 30,000 times the amount.
All farms are large corporate farms.
Wrong for the fourth time in a row, I hope you're catching on by now. "97% of all farms are family-owned and operated." Most families have been farming for generations. They live for the land and are continually working to make the land and the food they produce the best it can possibly be.
All farmers are rich.
If you're thinking about becoming a farmer in hopes of getting rich, think again. Farmers don't farm to make huge profits, they farm because they love their jobs. Ask any farmer --there's nothing they would rather be doing than working countless hours in the field tending to their crops or livestock from sun up to sun down. Farming is a life-long investment, millions of dollars are put into the self-employed small businesses they have created. Most of the time, return values aren't seen for generations, and in some cases, even lifetimes.
Lastly, I don't mean to be demeaning in this article at all. I simply want you, the consumer, to be educated before talking poorly about the agriculture industry or the life of a farmer.
Instead of arguing with us, support us. Not only are we a huge industry in America, we feed you every single day.
Today, and every day, make sure to thank a farmer.