Think twice before bashing farmers and their practices

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After offending farmers everywhere with their aggressive ad campaign claiming local-raised food is healthier and anything else is just plain bad, Chipotle is feeling the effects of what some would call Karma.

According to Gary Truitt, Chipotle has seen a shift downward in its stock shares recently, falling 7% to $495.92. The burrito giant also saw its proposed executive pay plan voted down by 77% of shareholders last Thursday. Since the plan was denied, the entire pay structure of higher level employees within the company will now be reviewed.

Wall Street analysts said that Chipotle’s top management earns nearly five times more than top executives in similar food chains. Last year alone co-CEO’s Steve Ells and Monty Moran made nearly $50 million combined.

Chipotle is not the only guilty party in the farmers vs. food joints saga. Multiple sources reported Panera Bread officials as calling farmers partaking in biotechnology, “lazy”. After the bashing of biotechnology Panera Bread saw their shares fall almost 12%. Could this be a coincidence?

DodgeA scene from Dodge Ram's "So God Made a Farmer" campaign. There are some companies and food chains doing just the opposite of their censuring-counterparts. Take Dodge Ram and their “God made a farmer” commercial, debuting during the 2013 Super Bowl, they were named Motor Trend's Truck of the Year for 2014, increasing truck sales by 17% in a year. McDonald’s, known for working with farmers, has also seen increases. The fast-food mecca has experienced annual sales increases every year for the past ten years.

Read more about the Chipotle vs. farmers story here

Source: Hoosier Ag Today

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Topeka, KS  |  May, 21, 2014 at 01:35 PM

Don't forget Culver's as another farmer-friendly place to eat.

Canada  |  May, 21, 2014 at 11:08 PM

Farmers Feed the World

New York  |  May, 22, 2014 at 06:04 AM

I agree with Chipotle and Panera! The fact their stocks went down is not because the small farmers were able to sell off their stocks ! It is because the large companies that own giant megalow farms and their unhealthy husbandry practices can afford to sell off their stocks !!! Just another blatant bully tactic against change! Shame on you!

May, 22, 2014 at 07:42 AM

michelle, how long you been farmin'?

Rhode Island  |  May, 22, 2014 at 07:42 AM

Dear Michelle, It is very difficult to predict markets but I believe calling this a bully tactic in Agriculture vs. Chipotle/Panera is a grand mistake. Please review all of Chipotle's marketing tactics before coming to such an assumption. Thanks, Becky

May, 22, 2014 at 08:24 AM

Your probably sitting in your New York City high rise drinking some goofy named coffee and have zero idea about any such thing the only way that farmer grew to be such a big farm is hard work and quality work

Iowa  |  May, 22, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Michelle, what makes you think this has anything to do with any farmers selling off Chipolte and Panera stock? Are you that presumptuous to think that the only people dumping these two companies are farmers? Second, please provide your definition of 'unhealthy husbandry practices'. Finally, your thought on some boogieman 'bully tactic against change' makes no sense what-so-ever. Care to elaborate or are you just here for drive by name calling?

Ohio  |  May, 22, 2014 at 10:35 AM

Farmers are no different than ALMOST every other American - they're greedy and want to make as money as they can, as quickly as they can. So, as a result, they plant genetically altered seeds - seeds that produce toxic produce.

May, 22, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Jon, got any science to back that up, or are you giving us information that you got off of some home gardening blog?

May, 22, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Jon, got any science to back that up, or are you giving us information that you got off of some home gardening blog?

MA  |  May, 22, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Jon, please check the facts....there is no scientific evidence verifying negative health issues from gmos...the rejection of gmos comes from misinformation, innuendos, and misperceptions that that has created a paranoia fueled by the organic left to stigmatize healthy conventional food for their own gain.

Mudville  |  May, 22, 2014 at 12:52 PM

....50 million for those two Chipotle jokers....if I had Chipotle stock, I'd dump it, too....if they can't catch a football or hit homeruns, they ain't worth a smidgin of that!!

The Great State of Iowa  |  May, 22, 2014 at 01:02 PM

Wow. Hard hitting article, Lauren. Keep it up, this is important. Chipotle and Panera can kiss my cornfed ass! Who here's got the nerve to say small local farms are in any way better than factory farms?! 'CAUSE THERE NOT! MacDonalds is wonderful and gives me the money I deserve for my quality beef and chicken. MacDonald's cares only about quality and not profit!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is why MacDonald's stocks are raisin' while there snobby competitors (Chipotle & Panera) are consistently decreasing SO DON'T CRITICIZE FACTORY FARMS AND THEIR PRACTICES EVER! IT'S A HUMBLE WAY TO EARN A HUMBLE LIVIN'! P.S. michelle how long you been farmin'?

May, 22, 2014 at 02:01 PM

Here's the thing. I am a young farmer who is going to school full time at a top ranked university, and coming home to the farm on the weekends. For the people who are saying GMO's are bad I would like you to stop and think for a second. The crops that are modified are modified to be resilient to pests, which means that the farmers don't have to apply pesticides and herbicides which can end up polluting the earth if they aren't applied correctly. With GMOs there isn't a need to apply the chemicals. As for factory farms, I would like you all the GOP for a factory farm. If there is something you don't understand look it up. You'll see that the majority of the things that are done in the farms are for the health and safety of the animals. On my dairy farm our top priority is to raise healthy animals. We don't sacrifice the health and well-being of our cows to make more money. Healthy cows that are comfortable tend to make more milk. That has been proven. So before you start bashing on farmers and the technology that we use why don't you do a little research from reliable sources? Or better yet find a farmer and ask them. We are more than happy to answer your questions if you would ask rather than just jumping to conculsions.

Pa.  |  May, 23, 2014 at 06:46 AM

Michelle, what world do you live in? The American farmer is the most productive in the world. But also the most regulated and chastised in the world. Farming is long days and allot of nights of hard work! Government regulations and the "organic food" scam make it very difficult to turn a profit. it's ignorant people like you who couldn't find an ear of corn in Iowa that are bashing an industry that you know nothing about. "Unhealthy husbandry", I want to see you plant 10 acres of corn...from tillage to harvest...and turn a profit. Many of the midwest farms are planting 4000 acres.

minnesota  |  May, 23, 2014 at 01:59 PM

Actually, GMO farmers certainly do apply chemicals. The crops are modified to be resistant to herbicides, so the farmers can save time and fuel (this part is good) by putting a blanket spray of round-up on the field after the weeds and crops have emerged. I live smack dab in the middle of a huge farming area and my neighbors don't hesitate to spray (with cropdusters) insecticides as well. My farm has been certified organic for almost 30 years, and once I reported a crop duster who was applying chemicals while the winds were 25 knots an hour, which was illegal for that chemical as it can drift where it's not wanted. Now that crop duster makes a point to fly directly over my land EVERY time he sprays a farm anywhere near mine. If he had a dribble on his tank, it certainly would contaminate my land and my livelihood. He does it just to be an A.H. Now speaking of dairy farms, lower production milkers allowed to graze on pasture and not given BST tend to live longer, but apparently at a certain scale it's more profitable to have a 3X day milking in a factory farm using the BST hormone. So it's really not about raising healthy animals to produce more milk, but pushing a hormone that makes them produce more milk. The profits must be there or they wouldn't do it. Back to GMOs, if I were a large scale conventional crop farmer I'd be a bit concerned about the way Montsanto is creating an almost monocultural world, and the way they now own patents on the seeds. Farmers have very few choices these days in what they can do, unless they're small scale and somewhat off-the-grid. Come to think of it, consumers should worry about this system too. Even people who know absolutely nothing about agriculture. They still eat.

poor dad    
Arkansas  |  May, 24, 2014 at 06:11 AM

One common sensical comment sure brings out the low IQ in many . There is "mega" people in the USA. You are failing to convey why a "megalow" farm is a bad thing. Kind of hard to feed the world with a garden and a milk cow. We farmers sure appreciate you Michelle showing that the people that are against us are mostly consisting of the ignorant. Thanks

Texas  |  May, 24, 2014 at 02:32 PM

"Megalow Farm" don't exist. Over 97% of all farms in the U.S. are family owned and operated. Very few are owned by a company at all and most companies simply purchase materials from a farmer in sort of a contract agreement. As for unhealthy husbandry, if the animal isn't healthy, you get less product and price for it. If you take good care of your livestock, they take care of you.

May, 24, 2014 at 07:44 PM

Harmony, hat planet are you from. The main GMO trait is resistance TO pesticides. (Round-up Ready DUH?) Maybe you should finish school before you post again...

AL  |  May, 26, 2014 at 10:20 AM

How is it bullying to sell something that you no longer want or support? I'm not sure what a megalow farm is...but it seems when restaurants outright talk badly about those in agriculture it's not bullying and ok; but when those in agriculture distance from them in response then it's "bullying" - action meet reaction. I'm on the small side of things, what Chipotle says they support. They talk up a lot of things about small farms but in action banned me from their Facebook page for asking a question. I guess ethical is only for other people to talk about. The fact is Chipotle won't buy from places like ours, no matter what warm and fuzzy images they use. What they represent is not big enough to sell cheap enough to sustain them. So they buy in volume, and have no issue charging full price for the "poison" chicken, pork and beef they serve when their chosen 'ethical' isn't available. They, in fact, are too large for even those larger than us. 20,000 birds at all times for just 3 restaurants...and they won't take all the bird, and it must be inspected AND must be cheap. And when those aren't available they serve what is deemed "poison" in order to have their restaurant choices available. How, exactly, is that ethical? You either stand for something or you don't. Farmers never made marketing folks make those choices.

Oregon  |  May, 29, 2014 at 06:54 PM

Yes, farmers feed the world - but what are they feeding us and why? Read this article from 5/28/14 NY Times.

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