As many of you know by now I am a social media junkie. So much so that if it doesn't pop up on one of my many social media feeds I don't know about it. I don't read newspapers or watch the news on TV, it isn't news anymore it's all sensationalism.
Two articles caught my attention last week that I felt were newsworthy, an article by Blake Hurst entitled "American farmers as peasants? Really?" and one by Damion Mason entitled "Agriculture, the 1 percenters." Both articles addressed the "food movement."
Blake Hurst, Missouri Farm Bureau President and third-generation farmer from Atchison County, Missouri, writes frequently and honestly. His articles appear mostly on The Kansas City Star website, Midwest Voices section. His latest appeared on Agri-Pulse.
Hurst heard a "foodie" state that ideally, food would be produced by many peasant farmers. Hurst responds:
"People are conflicted in their views of farmers. They want us to be close to the land, but they poke fun at our provincialism. They want us to be a family business, with emphasis on the family and not the business. They are afraid we're corporate and worry when our businesses grow, but they surely want us to proficient at our trade, sophisticated in the care we take of the land and animals in our charge. But almost nobody, outside of the leaders of the "food movement" wants us to be peasants."
Mason, according to his LinkedIn bio, is a keynote speaker for business and agriculture, owner of DeLoRosa Farms, writer, small business owner and humorist. Put agriculture and humor together, you will get my attention.
In his article he relates the "occupy movement" on Wall Street to those that seem to be doing the same thing to agriculture. His article describes how out of touch the American consumer is with food production:
"They want outdoor chickens without cages. (So do the coyotes.) They want produce without insecticides. (So do the potato leaf hoppers.) They want GMO food labeling. (But 80% of consumers also want labels for foods containing DNA….hint, every living or formerly living organism contains DNA!)"
The '"food movement" is concerning and easy to take personal. How could someone hate something we love and are proud of? Why would farmers be any less concerned with where and how food is produced? We feed our families the same food we are producing for the masses.
Related: The Friday Five: New York Edition
I wonder if we aren't consumed with the few instead of focusing on the many. Do we give today's average consumer enough credit or are we constantly focused on the squeaky wheel? Maybe we don't hear from the average consumer because they don't have a problem with us.
They can handle modern agriculture, actually they may not even give it a second thought.
The opinions of Jennifer Campbell are not necessarily those of Indiana Prairie Farmer or the Penton Farm Progress Group.