When farmers compete against each other – everyone loses.
We produce milk. Therefore, we are dairy producers and we choose to be conventional farmers.
Other farmers that produce milk could be organic farmers. I have friends that are organic farmers.
The marketing world will do whatever they can to pit us against each other. There will be exaggerated and false facts pushed to show that one is better than the other. And, I personally think it goes back to your own preference for some things. But, as a conventional farmer I lean towards that way of farming and promote conventional.
What I won’t do (anymore) is speak against organic other than stating facts. For instance, if you want organic – great. But, make sure you are purchasing it for the right reasons. Some think organic is healthier, yet that has not been proven. https://gmo.geneticliteracyproject.org/FAQ/are-organic-foods-healthier-than-conventional-foods/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwg73kBRDVARIsAF-kEH9lBQJo9ZbyjHrh8YNB3U7RSWmEIvbUPGdGzlrTi-qTCM6dIPzTzMgaAqhoEALw_wcB
Some people think organic is grown without pesticides. That is false - https://foodinsight.org/pesticides-food-what-you-need-to-know/
So, as you see organic and conventional are different. The advertising suggests that one is better than the other depending on where you pitch your tent.
Another area is “milk”. While I believe it is easier to show that dairy is better than “nut juice” I try not to be too aggressive because there is a farmer that stands behind the other “milk” products.
If you want to use a nut juice instead of dairy – fine. If you don’t want to drink real dairy then great. Please don’t bash dairy products, just pick your alternative and move on. I will try to point out the differences and yes, once again I will heavily promote real dairy over the alternatives.
My beef is the false advertising on the packaging (which seems to be changing due to some legal activity). When it proclaims to be milk when there is no dairy in it, then that product is riding on the coat tails of my industry and confusing consumers.
Once again, I try to be careful because there are farmers working to produce the products used in those products.
The last area is my hot button. It is the non-GMO campaign.
I don’t want to take time to explain what a GMO is but here is a link: https://gmoanswers.com/what-gmo?gclid=Cj0KCQjwg73kBRDVARIsAF-kEH_AX2vKL32GzmbbeVguM_9VtyBx0BLWJKVldhK6yJVlbkErlZp2BucaAo8yEALw_wcB
And, I believe for the most part there is just a small slice of the farmer pie that pushes this. And, it is quite often tied in with the organic farming industry which makes it hard to discuss and explain in a way that doesn’t shed a dark light on them.
First of all. There are only 10 products on the market that can possibly be GMO.
Alfalfa, Apples, Canola, Corn, Cotton, Papaya, Potatoes, Soybeans, Squash, Sugar Beets
I could spend a lot of time here, but bottom line – fear-based propaganda. If any company or group can influence you to purchase more of their product using fear, chances are they will.
Many food items are labeled non-GMO when there isn’t even the possibility for it to be a GMO. Why? Well, it makes sense to the average shopper that if it is labeled as not having it, then having it must be bad. Therefore, I’ll purchase the one that is non-GMO.
As each of us farmers purpose to promote our product and way of farming we must be careful not to run over and trample a fellow farmer.
The marketing companies are busy coming up with clever ways to sell with no regard to who or what other farmer will be hurt.
So, as farmers we need to be respectful when commenting on things that are not within our boundaries of farming because we are all in the food raising business.
The world right now is so divisive and every time you turn around someone is shoving a wedge between two entities. It’s time to show that while we are different we can be kind and work together.
I may farm conventionally; I will still respect organic farmers.
I will not allow false statements about my way of farming.
I produce dairy; I will respect farmers who supply alternative.
I will not allow false statements about my product.
I use GMO products; I will respect farmers who want to grow non-GMO.
I will not allow false statements about safe farming.
To all my fellow farmers I wish you great success and ask for harmony amongst each other. This ball of mud is large enough for all of us to exist. Let’s just do it peaceably.