Tilling, planting, and harvesting may sound like a hop, a skip, and a jump for you, but for the majority it’s a foreign language. When we think of farming we see miles upon miles of blowing corn stalks or a rolling green pasture filled with cattle. But what about the Americans that have never had the blessing to be a part of a farm? Chipotle recently came out with a commercial called “The Scarecrow” that draws a very ugly picture for consumers of what a farm looks like. This commercial has 14 million views.
Let’s put our self in the shoes of the urban consumer. You have never seen a real farm except maybe in a few pictures with a very plump pink pig and a brown cow for chocolate milk, of course. And then all of sudden there is a commercial with a scarecrow that is burden with the thought of all these poor animals on the farm being abused, neglected, and used simply for the farmer’s paycheck. So he goes off and makes his own farm, where the animals are all free of antibiotics, hormones, and machinery and they call in Chipotle. So you go there and you realize that it tastes pretty good so you decide you will go organic also. So you post a picture of all your awesome new organic food on Facebook and your lifestyle choices trend. This is human nature. We are all too at ease with believing the first thing we hear and making that our belief, we find one opinion that seems kind of okay and then close our minds to every other view. We’re all guilty of this so how do we fix it? We help educate America about what our farms look like. If we don’t live on a farm we do research or visit a farm to see their system and how they manage their produce.
The disconnect between the producer and the consumer is gigantic while at the same tiny. When we think about educating America we think about all those people living in cities that don’t care to know about agriculture and how we are producing food but when we think of the technology we’re blessed with the lightbulb switches on. Technology is the glue that holds the world together in today’s society and as an agriculture advocate it is our job to use it.
Growing up, and still today farmers and livestock producers in my family are my heroes. I think of my mom in the farrowing house for hours trying to save the last piglets of the liter and I think of my dad spending early mornings knee deep in snow making sure that all of our animals have shelter and water and I think of my grandparents and my family before them clinging to the farm culture. And I can’t stand America not knowing that these people are not greedy, inhumane people; these people are who make the world go round.