The recent restaurant ads depicting the conventional agriculture industry as “bad” has spawned a lot of social media attention both good and bad. I have been reading numerous blogs, tweets, and posts from folks in the agriculture industry slamming these ads and these restaurants because they aren’t in support of conventional agriculture. Being a producer who supplies cattle to one of the ranches who in turn supplies one of the big named fast food restaurants with one of these ads, I took offence to many of these slams.
As a farmer that raises Grass-Fed, Hormone and Antibiotic-Free beef in a sustainable and holistic way, I don’t see anything wrong with what we do. We raise our beef this way because we believe it is more of a historic way for an ungulate (cow) to be raised. This doesn’t mean that we think conventional methods are bad; the way we raise our beef fits our lifestyle.
In my opinion, nothing is bad about conventional agriculture. If we (the agriculture industry) are going to feed a very hungry planet of 7,183,057,300 and counting, we are going to need to rely on conventional agriculture practices to meet demand. All the while, the consumer is demanding more choices. Choices like organic, hormone-free, free-range, certified humane, antibiotic free, etc. The agriculture industry is stepping up and meeting this demand. As farmers, regardless of what consumer demand area we are filling, we all share one common theme, WE ARE FARMERS, and we are providing food that people eat. We should not be slamming each others choices of how we raise our crops or livestock, but sticking up for each other because we are all in this together and producing the worlds’ food.