Farmers from across the industry have banded together to fight the next round of hate and misinformation targeting agriculture. The perpetrator of this latest attack, however, comes from an unlikely source – Only Organic.
Only Organic, a group representing many of the nation’s largest organic companies, kicked off March with a dark video showcasing school children singing a twisted version of “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.” A Twitter chat “party” followed shortly thereafter.
Unfortunately for Only Organic, it will take more than misleading propaganda to divide the industry, regardless of whether farms operate as organic or conventional.
Agriculturists from across the country quickly hopped online to crash the “party,” calling out the company for its negative attacks, false accusations and unethical propaganda. Here’s what some of them had to say:
The response to these farmers and ranchers wasn’t met with discussion or debate. Instead, as Hannah Thompson, Communications Director with the Animal Agriculture Alliance, noted in a MeatingPlace article here, it was “unfortunate that the farmer engagement was being blocked, ignored or labeled as “hating” and “trolling” by the other chat participants.”
“While a very small minority may have been posting anti-organic messages or tweets that weren’t conducive to an open dialog, the majority of #NewMacDonald dissenters were entirely supportive of organic as a perfectly valid production and consumption choice – just not one that should be made based on fear,” she continued.
Randy Krotz, CEO of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, was proud of the industry’s response.
“Big, small, organic and conventional farmers – it didn’t matter. We stood together, side by side, in the face of blatant mistruths about our food supply,” Krotz said. “Together, we shared our stories and did what we do best: explained transparently what it is that we do and how it is that we do it, all in the hopes of helping consumers feel better about how we grow and raise their food. “
Farmers may not always agree on all aspects of agriculture, but at least they can agree on one thing: hate will not prevail. Americans are free to eat safe, quality food regardless of whether they eat organic or not.