Assault on Agriculture

DeEtta Bohling, Communications Specialist

Agriculture has played defense for a number of years, being blamed for various problems in today’s society. HSUS, PETA, Michael Pollan, Tyrone Hayes, Mark Winne and a variety of other activists continue to assault agriculture daily.

Why? Agriculture accounts for 18% of the workforce and 20% of the GDP. What do we think about multiple times a day? Food. You think about which leftovers to take to work, what you need to pick up at the grocery store and what you can fix for your family to enjoy before hurrying off to a ball game.

Food is an entry point to climate change, employment, health, immigration, and the economy. Talk about an easy target! Even Mark Winne said in “Closing the Food Gap”, “Food was the path to empowerment.”

Activists are gathering right in our backyards and their strategy is a moral attack on food. While we are speaking science, activists are engaging the consumer with emotion. Who could argue that animals shouldn’t be comfortable and cared for? Who could argue that obesity is a serious issue in society? All of us agree, but how we handle the criticism is what is important.

Like many of you, I was outraged at the most recent undercover dairy farm video. In fact, I couldn’t watch the whole thing, as I instantly cringed and became sick to my stomach. How many of you shared your outrage with a neighbor or dinner guest? Maybe you reached out to social media sites to describe your frustration that it only takes one bad apple.

This weekend I attended my sister’s college graduation ceremony. One of the speakers was J. Douglas Reichardt, CEO of Holmes Murphy & Associates. A couple things he said stuck with me.

Reichardt said, “You can’t get what you want until they get what they want.”

This applies to employers, relationships, and consumers. Consumers need to know that farm animals are being treated well and that the product they are receiving is both safe and nutritious. It is no longer enough for farmers and ranchers to do their regular chores. Everyone involved in agriculture must be an agvocate.

I am proud to represent hard-working Kansas farmers and appreciate all they do so that I can be confident that our food supply is in good hands. The last thing I would like to leave you with is another quote from Reichardt. “If you are successful, you will gain false friends and true enemies. Do good anyway.”

Truth in Food
The Hand that Feeds U.S.
Farmers Feed US


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