On behalf of my farm, I have to apologize.
I am so sorry what has happened to you and what you and your family are going through. It’s incomprehensible.
I am also sorry for a variety of other reasons.
I am sorry that we as an agriculture industry have failed you. Our purpose is to grow food for you that you believe is safe and healthy and we haven’t proved that to you. We haven’t kept that trust that you once had with us.
I didn’t share with you why we use glyphosate, why it’s safe and hearing your concerns. I didn’t share how it’s one of the less toxic tools to reduce weeds that would end up killing our crops, and that it has helped us grow safer, more sustainable food on our farm than in the past. I didn’t share how it’s help us reduce our tillage, and ultimately our soil erosion.
We soared past you in our advancements and assumed our relationship with you was strong and intact, when in fact it became weaker, more strained and more removed.
We have talked to each other in ag about our advancements in technology, genetics, equipment, systems and products, but we didn’t add you to the conversation. We didn’t ask you questions. We didn’t listen.
We told you to not worry. Trust us.
I’m sorry that hasn’t been a good enough response.
When we do talk to you about our farms, it’s in language that is hard to understand and confusing. There’s also a lot of sarcasm. Haste. Eye rolls. Then subtweets about how city slickers know nothing about farming and to go back to your city gardens. But instead, you could ask us the same about knowing what it is like living in your world since we are three generations removed from the city.
When you do ask us questions, we throw science at you. Tell you we have the facts. Science is on our side and that you can’t dispute the facts. End of discussion.
That may be right, but I know what is not on our side that we need desperately. That’s you.
We haven’t done a good enough job of sharing why we do the things we do with you. Not at you – with you.
We haven’t done a good enough job of asking about what your world is like. What questions you have about your food.
We haven’t done a good enough job of listening.
We haven’t done a good enough job of seeing you as a person – only as a consumer, a number, a person behind the keyboard that knows very little about farming.
It’s been consumers versus farmers. You versus me.
You’re our (my) wake-up call that we need to do things differently. We have to.
This isn’t just about Monsanto and Roundup. This represents every product and tool we use on our farms. It’s about how we an industry have to have you part of the conversation and see you as the, or at least one of the most important pieces in the food value chain.
This is about farmers and the ag industry knowing that we have to do things differently. I don’t know what that is just yet but I want to learn and have those conversations with you to figure this out.
Because at the end of the day, the tools I use on my farm are a privilege. I want and need to do things differently to keep that privilege.
This is about you AND me.
And I’m listening.
If you want to hop in the cab of the tractor or combine this harvest, or have us join you for a night in the city and talk about food and much more, please let me know. I’d sure love that.
High Heels and Canola Fields