The ag community online has some great videos produced from its ranks. Some that I’ve enjoyed include:
- quick shots of harvest with the combine, picker or swather,
- opportunities to learn about the way a family manages their farm,
- videos that have me singing for weeks (or longer),
- computer technology on the farm
- short how-tos,
- taking in a moment of absolute fun,
- tips on social media
- or showing when things go wrong in season.
Those videos show agriculture starting in the field, but the connections of agriculture go well beyond as food is processed, prepared, served, etc. And some videos get TV time. Several times since joining the network of farm people connecting through social media, there has been a buzz about a video that wasn’t created at that grassroots level. It is usually one of questions — how could they get that so wrong or one of revulsion about how the practices shown don’t represent farmers broadly. But on Friday, the grassroots buzzed a positive vibe!
?My schedule has been thrown off recently and I haven’t kept my regular morning routine of watching the Today Show (Did you know they had a blog? Check it out!). Bad time to miss because next thing I know Twitter erupted with tweets about the Today Show’s Natalie Morales doing an interview in which she pointed out the differences in facts and opinion of guest Suzanne Somers.
First I saw of it was this tweet:
— Mike Haley (@farmerhaley) January 22, 2011
She did the interview with Somers who was doing her latest health book tour. With Somers using words like “toxic assault we’re under” and others, it looked like this would be yet another case of a celebrity interview slamming farmers and science. The reasons some of Morales’ comments (italicized below in quotes) stood out was she encouraged sharing of opinion, yet also called to the facts of the matter:
- “What is this ‘the leaky gut syndrome’ is this something you came up with, cause its not a medical terminology?”
- Somers claims it is medical and then talks about antibiotics in meat and how cows aren’t meant to eat corn.
- “You are going to get a lot of people from the meat industry, of course, are going to dispute that. and your critics say that the FDA says there is no scientific proof that that may be better.”
- Somers then starts talking about a number of health issues.
- “There’s a big leap because there is not a lot of scientific proof to go, to say it is causing these diseases necessarily and you don’t necessarily have doctors as experts. You have a lot of alternative medicine gurus who you consult with.”
In case anyone at NBC, The Today Show or anyone else who knows Natalie gets their eye on this, PLEASE pass this along:
Thanks Natalie for trying to keep the conversation friendly and yet at the same time inject facts! We wish more interviews showed a familiarity with the facts around farming. If you’d like to get some new resources, the videos above were produced by people who live and breathe agriculture everyday including:
- Ohio corn, soy, wheat farmer who raises Simmental cattle Mike Haley (Twitter, blog)
- Missouri hog farmer Chris Chinn who’s raising her children within sight of the barn (Twitter, blog)
- California’s Ray Prock who is using Evernote to keep himself well organized from the barn to the office (Twitter, blog)
- Alabama dairy farmer Will Gilmer who entertains & educates (Twitter, blog)
- Minnesota’s Tim & Emily Zweber who demo’ed milking (Tim on Twitter, Emily on Twitter, blog)
- Shaun Haney of Real Agriculture who blogs Canada like no other & makes me laugh hard (Twitter, blog)
- The AgChat Foundation that seeks to empower farmers to use social media to connect with others (Twitter, blog)
- and myself who’s in Memphis and has worked in ag, especially cotton & biotech for my entire career (Twitter, blog)
And to all the farm friends & others out there. I hope you take time to say thank you for a job well done too.
(The video can be found at http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/#41191742 )