Agriculture under false attack

Agriculture, farming, ranching and family are synonymous with all things that are good in life. I cannot think of a better way, a better place to raise a family.

In the movie trailer, ?Farmland,? one farmer sums it up in a simple way. ?Some days, when the kids are with me in the tractor, I?m still at my job. I?m living my dream.?

That dream, however, faces new threats as we move forward into the 21st century. Each day, someone, in the vastness of the Inter?net, is working to make those dreams increasingly harder to fulfill.

Historically, farming and good food enjoy an unparalleled symbiotic relationship. Whether one harvests a garden of vegetables and fruit, or purchases freshly baked bread from a local bakery or grocery store, or makes an annual trek to the local butcher to stock up on the best cuts of meat, that relationship has stood the test of time.

However, it may change forever, if some people and special-interest groups are successful in changing the minds of the people who purchase their food beyond the farm gate.

We have been witnesses to an unprecedented assault on traditional agriculture. A simple search on an Internet search engine can turn up thousands of activist groups that are determined to have a say about not only the food you and I bring home to our families, but are telling us what they think about the agricultural system that provides the food for us.

It is not pretty. Here is a brief paraphrasing of the comments I read recently:

?Our food is poisoning us.?

?Wheat is one of the most toxic foods there is.?

?Farmers are raping and killing the earth and our environment.?

?Industrial corporate agriculture wants to control what we eat and how much we spend.?

While on a return flight from Washington, D.C., I sat next to a CEO of a public relations firm. In my introduction, I mentioned I was a farmer. He asked what I thought was an odd question. ?Tell me,? he said, ?are there any family farmers left in Kansas??

Having recently completed an ad campaign for an activist ?anti-corporate ag? group, he gave a brief over?view of the ?facts? as this group presented to him for the campaign.

I realized the question wasn?t odd at all. He was completely uninformed.

Such groups like the one in his story have been working diligently for almost a decade. They do not care whether the facts are verifiable. They appeal to a person?s emotions. If it can harm my children and stunt them for life, or poison them, slowly robbing them of happiness and joy, not to mention destroying my environment?. why, yes, I am against those evil people that are doing these bad things!

Fortunately, farmers and their families in America are waking up to this assault on the hearts and minds of people. They are speaking up in community forums, or by creating and writing a blog that is attracting a growing following among non-farm families.

Farmers are learning how to address controversial topics without becoming defensive or making offensive responses. They are engaging people everywhere they go.

As a farmer in the movie trailer says, ?We are normal people.?

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