Recently there has been a post going around on Facebook of how farmers are rapist. The picture has a bull mounted and farmers collecting the semen with a bunch of degrading and negative comments. Without mentioning why that process was taking place. Comments like “Dairy farmers kill baby calves, that’s how they get their milk.” I can promise anyone who believes that, that is highly wrong. Bottle calves are going for about $700, if you think a farmer would dig a hole and throw a calf in there then you are officially crazy! Farmers take better care of their animals than they do their selves. They put all of their money, time, and hard work out there so you can eat at night. When I first seen this, my initial reaction was to get mad. I hate seeing so many hardworking people get treated awful because some guy behind his computer shared a picture and it got shared a million times, with a lie attached to it. I normally begin mocking the people and arguing with them in my head (never argue with them online.) My cooled down and collective reaction was sadness.
How did a world that was built on agriculture slip so far away from people? Today people go to a grocery store and just think that their food is just magically there. “I have no idea how I got this baked potato with all of the fillings on my plate but it is yummy! It must be magic.” The people who spend their whole lives feeding and clothing us are being treated beyond poorly, because some uneducated/unexperienced with agriculture person goes home and pulls out there laptop and begin their propaganda. Why aren’t we taking a stand for our farmers?
I’m not saying fight with those people on Facebook, because you can’t fix someone who thinks they know everything about everything. What we should be doing is educating our friends, family, and neighbors about what agriculture really is. The worst thing for an industry that is constantly targeted is to back down and shut up. Yes these people are better at editing then some of us, yes these people know how to twist your words, and yes these people have a million plus followers. That doesn’t mean anything. As an agriculturist or someone who hates seeing farmers being trashed, we should be helping make a difference.
You can make a difference so easily. If you’re a teacher, take some kids to a farm and give them a tour. Young minds absorb easily and you will never see a kid more happy than when they are surrounded by a bunch of farm animals. As a student you should be educating your fellow classmates on what it is exactly that farmers do. You can do simple things like share an agriculture fact on Facebook every so often, inviting some friends down to come hangout on the farm, or putting on a presentation in a speech class. We should be sharing our knowledge. Knowledge is the most powerful weapon we have on defeating propaganda.
It is so hard to stand up for what you think is right sometimes. This is something that as an agriculturist you know is right. Don’t let fear hold you back from saying the truth. It’s hard and I understand that completely. I also know that most of the people reading my blogs are parents that are involved in the agriculture industry, FFA Advisors, students, and agriculture lovers. A majority of you use to show, judge, rodeo, or do some other form of public speaking. So let me ask you this, why was it easy for us to lead an animal that was twice our size in a ring for someone to judge us? Why is it so easy for us to stand up and give a set of reasons without thinking twice? The answer is because we worked hard to do all of those things, which is the same for the farmers who are constantly getting lashed out on.
We can’t change the world over night but we can make a huge difference. At livestock shows, talk to those people who are just walking back in the barn that have no idea if you are showing a heifer or steer. It might be common knowledge to you, but it’s something new and exciting for them. When I showed my steer at Tulsa, some lady came up and asked me when my cow was going to have a calf. I just smiled and explained to her it was a steer and he can’t make or have babies. Her face lit up, and she went and told all of her friends that those were steers and to quit calling them cows. That is how you make a small difference.
These people who are sharing this propaganda don’t know any better. We can sit around and call them ignorant, but we have no right to until we share what agriculture is really about. You have all been challenged to make an impact. Be a leader and let’s start a chain reaction and get a much need positive reaction going for our hard-working farmers and ranchers. Farmers and ranchers thank you guys so much for everything you do.
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