The Farmer Wars are here and we’ve gotta say, they ain’t pretty! As more companies continue to use the great food debate as a marketing gimmick, often with controversy being their main goal, the agriculture industry has rounded up the troops and launched a counter attack at…each other. Wait…what???
Let’s be honest, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably been witness to, or maybe even part of one of these battles. A knock ‘em down, drag ‘em out, no holds barred, good old fashioned mud slinging; farmer vs. farmer style. And if you’re like us, you’ve probably shook your head and thought “What the hell? Why are we fighting the wrong fight?”
Why do we continue to let companies like Chipotle pit farmers against one another? We have a bad habit in agriculture of allowing outside forces to divide us, and our first instinct is to tear fellow farmers apart in an attempt to prove that our way is the right way. Again, why? In the end, we are no further ahead, we feel crappy for the way we’ve treated a brother or sister in farming, and while we are busy fighting one another, we’re allowing others to sneak up the middle and tell a biased, tainted and self-serving story of farming, that has only proved to confuse our customers three ways to Sunday!
Companies like Chipotle know exactly the effect they are creating with sensationalized marketing ploys, and they succeed beautifully. Social media is all over it. Twitter is abuzz. And the comment forums are ripe with low blows and outrageous judgments. And now, they sit back and let the controversy fester, watching their campaign gain inertia thanks to the heated farmer wars taking place all around them. Well played Chipotle…well played.
But here’s a proposition. How about instead of fighting one another, we join together for the betterment of our industry and livelihood? It takes all kinds of farmers. That’s the great thing about a vast industry catering to consumers who are looking for different things: there is room for ALL. Period. We don’t need to criticize and shame each other, and here’s why: because YOU are the best farmer for your operation. You know what works best for your farm business and the reason you operate the way you do. And if you’re farming from a place of integrity, you’re doing it right.
#FARMVOICES is a day for joining together to celebrate both our differences as farmers and our commonalities. It’s a chance to put our foot down and say no more. No longer will we allow others to tell our farm story. We know the REAL story of farming, and nobody but us have earned the right to tell it! We’ve got this.
So this Earth Day, let’s take back control and stop tearing each other apart. We owe it to one another, but more importantly, to ourselves, to stop buying into the notion that there is only one way t ofarm. We think it’s time.
The FarmOn Team