This blog post was published when Food, Inc. first came to theatres.
The following is a blog post from the American Farm Bureau Federation’s blog, FBlog. The FBlog contains opinions and perspectives of some of the nation’s top producers. It is intended for the public as a whole to learn more about and discuss with producers today’s leading agricultural topics.
BY Chris Chinn
When I go to the doctor, I don’t ask to be treated with methods from 1912 because I know science and technology have improved medical practices throughout the years. The same is true today with agriculture. Thanks to technology, farmers and ranchers are better able to produce safe and abundant food for our growing nation. This week there is a movie being released in cities across the United States that misrepresents how farmers and ranchers produce food in this country. After reading several reviews of the movie, I am disturbed by the one-sided information being spread about how farmers and ranchers produce food. This movie is an assault on food production and agriculture. No matter the size of your farm or ranch, if you are a modern farmer, using science-based production methods, the messages of this movie are an affront to you staying in business.
As a farmer, agriculture is my life calling, and I have dedicated my life to producing safe, nutritious and affordable food. Our farm operation revolves around my family, and we manage every aspect of our farm in a socially responsible manner so we can pass it down to our children. Animal agriculture is the backbone of my rural community and many other rural communities across this country. I understand that contemporary agriculture doesn’t look like it did in the past. But agriculture is like many other industries that have had to become more efficient to survive. If our farm was not efficient, we wouldn’t be able to stay in business or provide for our children. The production practices I use are ethically grounded, scientifically verified, and economically viable.
Makers of the movie attempt to paint me and other farmers like me as victims of an evil food system. Nothing could be further from the truth. I freely choose the technology I put in place on my family farm, and I am grateful for it. I decide what works and what does not. Ultimately, my goal is to safely, efficiently and humanely produce food for Americans. The practices I employ to do that are all geared toward protecting the well-being and health of our animals so I can produce healthy food for consumers, and sustain my family’s ability to live on and care for our land and raise our animals.
Our farm is our sustainable legacy and we have an obligation to our family, neighbors, community and animals. We wouldn’t be in business today if we didn’t provide our animals with a safe and healthy environment in which to grow. My family breathes the same air and drinks the same water as our neighbors. Our farm makes it a priority to protect our environment, not just for my family, but for my community and for future generations so they have it as good, or better, than I do. There are very strict standards in place for nutrient and waste management, and we respect, support and abide by these standards. We do this because we care about providing safe food for our family, and your family.
As a consumer, please do not buy into scare tactics that aim to put modern family farmers and ranchers out of business. Contact a farmer or rancher who uses science and technology; learn more about why they use it and how it works. And, while you’re at it, you might want to check out the Web site www.safefoodinc.org. It sheds light on specific issues raised by the movie and provides facts about agriculture, not fiction from the silver screen.
Posted by: Haylie Shipp