Monday, November 26, 2012

I sell Monsanto seed and you MUST plant and grow what I say!

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!!

19 comments:

  1. Love this post! I'm not a farmer, I'm a consumer, like many people I also have questions about where my food comes from, what's in my food, and how it affects me. I do however find that a lot of people will preach what's "Good" and what's "Bad" in your food but yet they won't encourage you to do your own research and find out for yourself. Thanks for the great post and thanks to Megan at "thebeefjar.com" for sharing this link!

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  2. A lot of people are very concerned about genetically modified foods, especially as Monsanto also produce herbicides, and then produce a seed which is resistant to those herbicides. Of course people are going to worry, and with such a fashion for conspiracy theories these days it really does shake people up. I wonder if you could provide us with some peer reviewed scientific published papers which confirm the safety and/or benefits of GM crops, preferably not from research funded by Monsanto, as this can cause an experimenter bias in the same way as a study conducted by someone who is anti GMO will cause a bias against. Thank you.

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    1. I can absolutly look into getting you some links. I like to look at www.academicsreview.org which is exactly that a peer review by professionals such as researchers, professors, teachers, and authors. You can search GMO and it will bring up peer reviewed research. I would also encourage you to check out the latest food dialogues and watch the biotechnology panel at www.fooddialogues.com. I will be very honest that with all the negative articles out there it even makes me skeptical if I have the correct info but I recently attended the food dialogues in NYC a couple weeks ago and listening to an actual geneticist and other professionals in the biotech industry put many of my concerns at ease and they even mentioned there is yet to be research evidence of harm to GMO'S. I encourage you to go out and speak to farmers also. Many of the ones that I visit embrace the technology of GMO because it allowes them to use less herbicide, pesticide, and insecticide which I think everyone can agree is a good thing.

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  3. I think you should do some reading too. Monsanto is not as squeaky clean as you profess. There are too many links to list them all here, but start with this:http://www.disclose.tv/action/viewvideo/112195/Genetic_Roulette_2012_Full_Documentary/

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    1. I don't recall saying they are squeaky clean. The purpose of the post was show that Monsanto is not telling or forcing farmers to plant certain crops and seeds. You can come ride with me a day and I can prove that quite quickly. Also take a look at academicsreview.org and they have peer reviewed that book and his "unsubstantiated claims" as they called them. I thank you for your comment and we could probably spend all day going back and forth on the matter but it wasn't really what the post was about.

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    2. http://www.naturalnews.com/037249_GMO_study_cancer_tumors_organ_damage.html

      Let's talk real:

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  4. Hello my name is Nathan, and I am a farmer. I have been researching agriculture (from both sides of the fence) for many years now. Back in the mid '90s when GM seed was introduced, the seed companies made it seem like the new "miracle seed" where a farmer wouldn't have to use as many chemicals and could expect higher yields. Since then farmers have found that is NOT the case, instead farmers have had to use many more chemicals and the increase in yield has yet to be seen. Have you ever farmed yourself?

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    1. Absolutely. My father is a grain farmer. My husband and myself raise crops. Most all my relatives raise crops. I talk to farmers all day. I hear both sides. I'm not here to say what is better. I believe there is a place for all options and we are lucky to have options. I'm not sitting here pretending to be an expert or to have all the answers. There is a lot of info out there that is false on both sides of the fence. I commend you for doing your research. Many of the farmers I speak with and ourselves included have seen a decrease in use of chemicals. I'm not saying that is the case for every body.

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    2. Thank you Roland for speaking up. We have a right to know what is in our food anyway. I choose not to eat GMO produced food, but I am sure some of what I eat has GMOs in it, as it does not have to be printed on the label. Since there have been no real "long term" studies done on GMOs, how can anyone say its safe?

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    3. Sorry got the name wrong, it should have said Thank you Nathan

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    4. I believe you have a right to know what is in your food as well. I think it is great that our food system has options and you are able to eat non gmo as well as organic, natural,conventional. It is hard to get everyone to agree on an issue so options are critical

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    5. Then why is it so hard to get it printed on a product that it contains GMOs?

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    6. That is a great question and I wish I had an answer. The label is lost somewhere between leaving the elevator and the food companies that purchase these grains I feel. When I deliver a bag of seed it is labeled with the traits and genetic modifications or if it is conventional. When a farmer delivers to the elevator they let them know if they are conventional or not because many times they get a premium. After that is where most labels are lost. These are excellent questions for the food buying companies like Kraft, Pepsi-cola etc. why don't they continue the label? Extra costs?

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    7. Unfortunately, just about everything comes down to the money!!!! Its sad.

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  5. Have you read this?
    http://www.i-sis.org.uk/GM_cancer_warning_can_no_longer_be_ignored.php

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    1. http://www.newscientist.com/mobile/article/dn22287-study-linking-gm-crops-and-cancer-questioned.html.

      Have you read this? Like I said earlier we could go back and forth on this issue all day long. I respect your choice to eat non gmo. Figuring out if they are safe or not was not the intention of the post. I'm sure time will tell. You have the opportunity to change things with your buying power which appears to be what your doing so I commend you for that. While we probably won't change each others mind I have appreciated the dialogue

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  6. To add to the comments about labeling and gmo seed- I currently work for a grain company and purchase food grade varieties as well as cow corn and would like to add the following points:

    The reason most of the end user products are not labeled is because when farmers bring their crops to the elevator or processor it is can be very difficult and can add additional costs to the end product to segregate what is GMO and what isn't.

    For example a elevator has 2 100,000 bushel bins to fill in the fall or 200,000 bushels of total space. If they do not segregate gmo and non-gmo corn they can take in 200,000 bushels. However, if they have a non-gmo bin and a gmo bin and get 80,000 bushels of gmo corn and 80,000 bushels of non-gmo corn they have lost out of 40,000 bushels of space and with a elevator space is money so the cost of that empty space will like all things flow thru the system to the end user. It also takes time to clean systems between gmo and non gmo products. Remember farmers have a limited window in the fall to get crops out before the face weather concerns and damage.

    Second, I would also like to point out that no American farmer can plant 100% gmo seed. All farmers must plant what we call refuge corn or corn without gmo attributes to keep the system whole and clean. Everything about American agriculture is very calculated and planned for the benefit of not only the producer but their consumer as well. There isn't a farmer that I talk to that isn't worried first about conserving his land. Remember farmers are not only feeding consumers but their families as well. Plus, most farmers plan to pass their plant down to their children and their grand children. Farmers are not willing to risk the over use and over expense of using chemicals for no reason. Remember over 80% of American farms and ranches are still family owned.

    Also remember that for the organic folks it takes a average of three time more land, seed, water, man-power ect to grow than gmo crops. Without crop improvements such as gmo and other processes we would not be able to feed the 6.79 billion people that live on this earth.

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    1. Great points Lisa! I would also like to add that certified organic is gmo free so we already have a voluntary label!

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