by Baxter Black
On the Edge of Common Sense
Who Would Like RFDtv Off The Air?
Who would like RFDtv off the air? Or U.S. Farm Report? Who would like Farm Bureaus shut down, along with the National Cattlemen’s Assn, the Pork Producers, the Egg Council, the Northern Ag Network, Range Magazine, the Delmarva Farmer, the Farm Journal, the Beef Checkoff, the Brownfield Ag Network? Who would like to make it illegal for movie stars, sports stars, heroes, singers and baby calves to be pictured with a milk moustache?
ANSWER: Any person or group that does not want people to know “Where their food comes from.” The first one that comes to mind is Humane Society of the U.S. (not associated with the local Humane Society in your home town). They make a living attempting to make farmers and ranchers look bad. I don’t question their motive, it’s a job, it’s how they pay the bills. They come to work each day and send out letters asking for the “Cash” so they can “fight the evil farmers and ranchers.” As long as they can keep their donors misinformed, blindfolded and mislead about the whole truth, the “Cash” keeps comin’ in!
Another factor that is critical, is to portray agriculture, be it modern or homegrown, as inhumane, environmentally harmful, and run by insensitive, country hicks who have no real moral attachment to the animals and the land . . . that it’s all about money. That is easy for them to understand since so much of their own time and effort and commitment is dedicated to the pursuit of “Cash”. There seems to be endless quasi-associations seeking funds to “protect and enhance the wildlife and the habitat, the heritage and the natural resources.” They pop up every time someone can find a cause that will stimulate the “Cash.” But just having a good cause is not enough. They must create a straw man to portray the enemy. That eliminates any deep inspection of the validity of their cause, and ranchers and farmers, hunters, miners, lumberjacks and oil field roughnecks fill their bill.
Another influential group of people who don’t want people to know “Where their food comes from” are politicians with a prejudice against those who work the land. Their reasons are usually personal; some childhood animosity that is now being repaid because they have the power, a guilt complex because they were born with a golden spoon, maybe the only farmer he knows ran against him for office. Who knows?
RFDtv is being dropped from some media networks that are intent on merging. The reason given is that a network about and for agriculture is not relevant to the modern urban viewer. HSUS, among others, will be thrilled! Agriculture on television is one of the few places where the consumer can get to know “Where their food comes from.” The presence of agriculture is growing. It’s not uncommon to see or hear news stories about farmers and ranchers. Most are good. Most reporters are reasonable people, they eat bacon and hamburger. They have a general concept that global population growth will demand more food, and that the USDA represents and is involved with keeping our food safe.
They are like most Americans, they trust farmers and ranchers and expect us to stay on top of things. We are able to do that because we have access to such a broad source of information, (re: first paragraph). We continue to educate and include the curious urban consumers in our thinking. We invite them to see for themselves; to know the truth about our business and to show them “Where your food really comes from.” And that, my friends, is the last thing the Humane Society of the U.S., the extremist ANTI’s, and vengeful offended politicians want them to know.