The Earth Day Battlefield

It’s Earth Day. This nationally-recognized day is often commemorated in many ways. On campus, there was an Earth Day Fair in our “green” Fine Arts building, where booths were exhibited about various aspects of preservation and conservation. I couldn’t make it, since I was in class for the 2-hour duration of the event. However, I’m sure that just like last year, agriculture was under-represented.

Today is a double-edged sword for farmers and ranchers. It’s a wonderful day to celebrate and share all the ways that agriculturalists fight to keep the Earth healthy. It should be a day for growers and raisers of all varieties to commend each other’s efforts to create quality goods without hurting the land they use.
However, it’s a day of segregation. Many folks on the organic front have posted some rather unpleasant things via Twitter, and it saddens me to see this contention. Some conventional folks have gone on the defensive. Once again, I have to ask, why is it such an “us or them” mentality? All farmers are farmers. All work hard, all are proud of their efforts, their products, and their trade. One method will not work for everyone. And the market demands a wide variety; not everyone wants to eat organic, just like not everyone wants to eat highly-processed foods.
Come on, people. Stop the warfare. Stop the fighting. I’m sick of it, as are many other people. It’s Earth Day; instead of pointing fingers and accusing, why not celebrate the elevated relationship with Earth that farmers have?
Earth Day should be a day of contemplation, education, and unity. Instead, it’s like Christmas with those estranged relatives you don’t really want to see. Instead of enjoying gift-opening and a nice sit-down meal, it’s bickering, arguing, and he-said-she-said.
I was hoping that Earth Day would be a bright point for agriculture. I was hoping to get on Twitter and Facebook and see people exchanging stories of conservation and protection and good practices.
Alright, I’m off my soapbox, for now.

One thought on “The Earth Day Battlefield

  1. It's a good soapbox to be on. I think social media has much to offer ag, but I do think it's easier to say things you wouldn't say face-to-face. There are bright spots. The CropLife Ambassador Network spoke with many youth about the conservation efforts of farmers at schools across the Midwest.

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