Earlier this evening a fellow blogger Katie Pinke of whom I look up to in the blogging world posted a statement looking for info on a matter. She had said that while in NYC over the summer someone had said to her "I feel so bad for farmers, Monsanto decides what seeds they have to plant and tells them what crops they have to grow." I don't even know where to begin. Sometimes I feel that the Internet has made people loose all common sense. Perhaps it,s because I work in the industry I know that statement is far from the truth. If I were to hear this statement and it really concerned me I would probably drive out of the city, find a place that had grain bins or farm machinery and stop and ask some questions. Instead people hear something or look it up on the Internet and take it for the gospel. This amazes me. Remember in school when you had to learn about the great depression? You went and interviewed people that lived through it, be it your grandparents or neighbor. Not just look it up online and roll with it. This is the same concept.
This statement may frustrate me more than others mainly because I sell Monsanto seed. I can tell you first hand that I do not walk onto a farm and tell a farmer what to plant and grow. I wish it were that easy. Do people not realize that the seed industry is not a monopoly? There are many other genetic companies out there besides Monsanto. For example: AgReliant Genetics, Dupont, Thurston Genetics the list goes on. How would one company demand a farmer do something when their are other options/companies out there to choose from? Exactly. If I were to walk onto a farm and tell that farmer what to do he would laugh at me and kick me off the farm. These farmers select the company they want to buy from and the varieties that they want to plant. We help them by offering information on the varieties but by no means do we force or tell them what to buy and plant.
I do not understand the evil that is associated with Monsanto. A company becomes successful not by having a bad product. They become successful by having a good product that you put a lot of time and research into that has a large demand. It is no different than Apple. They have evolved with technology so why are they not evil. I guess haters will just hate. It is hard to change their minds. My father in law says that people will believe a blatant lie before the true facts because it is easier sometimes.....that rings true a lot in Ag. People try to say that they want to make everything GMO. Not true: we sell conventional seed. That is seed that has not been genetically modified. Farmers have that option to purchase that seed. Farmers purchase seed for what fits their needs. Some need root worm protection or else they will lose their whole crop so they go with GMO seed that will protect against that. They do their research. They look at plot info and company research to see how these varieties do against each other and what will fit for them. So these farmers have options and they make these decisions based on what is best for their production. I have never been able to tell a farmer what he has to do. If it ever comes to that point I will let you all know!
To conclude: I would challenge you all to go out and find information on your own. Please do not just believe the first thing you hear. Do you remember playing telephone back in grade school? Same concept. Information gets twisted down the line. If you are concerned about anything that is happening on a farm go and ask a farmer. They are nice and friendly and would be happy to talk. If you still don't believe me come and ride with me on some sales calls. You will learn quickly we don't tell people what to do!!! I can confidently say this myth has been debunked!!!! Have a great week!!