4 Of The Biggest Myths About Farmers, Debunked
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4 Of The Biggest Myths About Farmers, Debunked

Yes I am a farmer, but no I do not murder my animals.

4 Of The Biggest Myths About Farmers, Debunked
Ben and Jerry's

As an animal science major I hear a lot of people constantly tearing down the industry that I love. Every year, more people become further disconnected about where their food comes from, allowing organizations like P.E.T.A. to further the divide between farmers and consumers by using ad campaigns,blogs, and social media that thrive on the consumer's fear. Today, I have decided to address the top four misconceptions that surround the agriculture industry .

1. "Farmers murder their animals"

One of the biggest misconception that the public has about farmers, and I receive a lot of comments from animal right activist that say I murder my animals. P.E.T.A recently released an ad campaign that shows a dead lamb that has most of its skin off of it and it says “Here’s the rest of your wool coat”. This ad campaign thrives on the misconceptions that consumers have about famers. I've raised lambs for about 13 years, and I can tell you this accusation is far from the truth. I shear my lambs so that they are not hot during the hot weather months. Shear is the same as you or I getting a haircut. Above you can see a couple of my lambs that I recently sheared, and you notice that they look a lot different from P.E.T.A.'s ad. My lambs have all of their skin on and they are cool and content.

2. “Farmers abuse their animals.”

As you can see in the photo above, I love my animals a lot so naturally this misconception angers me. From an early age, I’ve been taught that the animals always come first. A lot of my childhood memories involve my family and I in our barn taking care of our animals into the late hours of the night, and then getting up early in the morning to do it all over again. These memories grew into my love for large animals, and has led me to decide on a career where I work with large animals.

3. “Farmers are injecting our food with medicine”

Imagine that you’re in a grocery store and you reach for a gallon of milk and you noticed that the one you’re reaching for says “antibiotic free” and the one next to it doesn’t. As a consumer it is easy to get swept up in the advertising techniques of companies and believe that dairy farmers are putting antibiotics in the milk you drink. This misconception is not entirely false, because dairy cattle are able to get sick just like you and I. Dairy farmers do give their cattle antibiotics to help them feel better, just like a doctor gives you or I medicine. Once a farmer gives a cow medicine he wraps a ribbon around her ankle. This tells any visitor that she is sick and that she must be milked last. When the farmer milks that cow last, he puts her milk in another container and dumps it down the drain that way it doesn’t go into the milk that is ready for consumer consumption. The safety of the consumer doesn’t stop with the farmer; it continues to the dairy where they process all of the milk. About every two days milk is picked up from the farm and transferred to the dairy. When the milk trucks arrive at the dairy they test all of the milk to further make sure that there is no residue from medicine in the milk. Once the dairy confirms that the milk is free of medicine, it is then packaged into containers and shipped to the store for the consumer to purchase.

4. “Farmers are just in it for the money.”

Growing up on my family’s farm, I’ve learned this statement is far from the truth. On my family’s farm we milk dairy cattle, and for every 100 pounds of milk we produce we get a set amount of money. Dairy farmers receive a certain amount of money for every 100 pounds produced. Currently dairy farmers about $14 per 100 pounds of milk. This might seem like a lot of money especially if a farm has several hundred head of cattle, but it is not. Once you factor in the cost of feeding and housing the animals, the farmer only makes a fraction of that.

As you can tell the farmers that produce your food not only care for the health of their animals, but you as well. I hope I've been able to shed light on some of the biggest misconceptions that surround the agriculture industry.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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