Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Get All of the Facts Before You Form an Opinion

Both pictures were taken on Windy Hill Farm by Tamatha Duncan.

As many of you know, Chipolte has recently come out with an animated ad about a scarecrow and our food supply.  The scarecrow is designed to represent the farmers of America.  During this commercial, everything is made to look like robots do everything and the farmer just watches it happen.  It shows land that is completely barren and growing nothing.  Then you see the farmers barnyard and it is full of lush plants.  The farmer then harvests his crops and drives them to town to cook them fresh for customers.

Many of us farmers took offense to this advertisement and the game for phones that goes with it.  Many of us that grow your food, care very deeply for the land, crops and/or our animals.  If we did not care for the land, the water, the plants and the animals, we would not be able to make money on our farms.  Some of us use machinery that makes our jobs easier and/or is easier on the land, water, vegetation and/or animals.  Without these options to make caring for everything easier for us, food would be more expensive than it already is.  I know to some of you, the prices seem too high now.  Those of whom are raising your food, struggle to make ends meet by the time we pay for fuel, seeds, animals and all that is needed to raise the plants and/or seeds.  Some years due to Mother Nature (weather), the economy, and other circumstances beyond our control, we loose money while raising your food.  Other years, due to these same factors we may make some money.  As farmers, by trade we are gamblers.  I am NOT saying that we go out and gamble, but with farming there are so many factors that we can not control that there is some level of a gamble no matter what portion of the food we raise.

When consumers see advertisements like this, I hope they ask questions and do research before automatically assuming everything in them is accurate information.  Consumers may choose to find a farm in their area and contact them for a visit (we allow visitors and are very willing to answer questions).  Understanding that most of us farmers, do not have the money to put a big production like this advertisement into many of our homes.  When we do make something, it seems to spread more slowly and has more negative reaction by the general consumers.  I am by no means trying to say that all consumers are quick to blame the farmers, but many do not take the time to find out the other side of the story.  To some of us, not trying to get our side of the story would be like not getting both sides of the story when you have a disagreement with someone.  Wouldn't you want the person trying to sort out the disagreement to get both sides?  Well, so do we.  I will be the first to say that there are some farmers out there that are not as responsible as some of the rest of us.  We have varied methods in raising the food that we raise.  This does not make one method better or worse than the other, just different.  For instance, when we are calving in January to March, we put our baby calves in the barn every night so that can get dried off and warmed up.  This also helps us determine when one of them first starts to get ill.  "Catching' an illness quickly is better for the animal and for us.  This practice would not be as easy for a larger farm, but works for our family farm.

Next time you see something about farming and it raises questions to you, please contact a farmer in your area and/or send us a message and get our side of the story too.  May God Bless each of you and this great Country of ours.

Until next time, remember.......Beef, It's What's for Dinner!