Videos urge producer activisim

There are two new videos aimed at spreading agriculture’s message.

One, Ag more than ever – get in the food conversation, was produced by Farm Credit Canada on behalf of the Ag More Than Ever campaign, in which Glacier Farm Media, which owns The Western Producer, is a partner. It’s about two minutes long.

The other, License to Farm, is a polished, 30-minute documentary produced by SaskCanola.

Both have a similar message: farmers can no longer remain silent in the debate over food safety.

The FCC video, which can be found at, succinctly encourages farmers to get involved in the conversation about food, lest it takes place without them. It refers viewers to the site to show how to get involved.

License to Farm, which can be found at, features farmers, scientists, skeptics, communicators and an environmentalist.

It covers political pressure on decision makers governing the food certification process, GMOs, pesticides, the “romantic ideal” farm and the identification of credible voices, such as farmers.

Speakers offer brief explanations of issues, often their experience with misconceptions about farming, and then present the answers.

In discussing food regulations, the video argues that “Canadian farmers have never before faced a challenge of this magnitude.”

That’s a big statement. The thesis is that politicians will give into activists and consumer groups who have interests of their own unless agriculture’s most credible voice — farmers — speak up in large numbers.

In a telling clip, Wilf Keller, president of Ag-West Bio, Saskatchewan’s bioscience industry association, tells the story of golden rice, a genetically modified product containing vitamin A, which could help address disease, especially night blindness, in countries whose populations are deficient.

Although it was approved for commercial use 12 years ago, golden rice remains a dormant promise because of “fear mongering and activists’ concerns.”

“It’s really a tragedy,” Keller says.

The message in these videos is urgent, but both use a measured tone and are worth a look.

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  • richard

    The never before faced “challenge of this magnitude” is not the activists…….rather it is trying to explain to increasingly savvy citizens how their health, vitality, and preservation of natural capital will be the net result of the escalating war on nature we call agriculture??? As Groucho Marx once said…..”Just because youre paranoid doesnt mean someone isnt out to get you”……. That “someone” ironically, is the face in the mirror.

  • Denise

    Farmers have a lot to contend with : Mother Nature’s whims, high prices of equipment and input costs, transportation costs, and the ups and downs of markets.
    Farmers never used to question the quality and safety of seeds,pesticides, and drugs for animals. But now “We Know” the kind of damage that can occur when products are not properly tested for the long term effects on the soil,water, animals insects, birds, and people. Also, we now understand the cumulative negative effects of toxic pesticides in the soil and water and people’s bodies.
    Biotech and agro-chemical companies want to get their products on the market ,as fast as they can. This means doing the shortest and selective tests allowable, then cherrypicking the studies that support the safety of their product. They get to present these findings to government agencies for approval and are taken at the word ,in a lot of cases.
    They like to talk about “cutting edge technology”. Those are just nice and fancy buzz words.- Many people believe that “it must be wonderful and good if it’s- ‘Cutting Edge Technology’?” Not all “cutting edge technology” has turned out to be good for us or our animals. Think BGH and ractopamine or Roundup,and Atrazine.
    Why would somebody throw something out on the market knowing, full well, it was not properly tested when so much is at stake, like the health of our environment and our families? You guessed it. Greed ,controlling interests, and money.
    Farmers have huge time and work saving equipment.Now that Superweeds are gaining ground, they are working the land again. Pesticides should be used only when needed,not prophylactically coated on the seeds.. I think this zero till idea was a beautiful scheme for companies that wanted farmers to use more and more chemicals (desiccate crops etc.). Turns out all these chemicals are destroying the soil’s microorganims ,which gave it life, fertility and conserved moisture.
    Change is happening out of necessity, slowly but surely. It must.
    Historic Settlement: Wildlife Agency Will Finally Examine How Roundup, Atrazine Harm 1,500 Endangered Species
    GMO Labeling: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

  • Harold

    I agree; the 30 minute video is nicely polished. Lots of claims and opinions but no scientific background. Comparing food with the automobile and telephone was quite intriguing. The concept- if we didn’t accept the status quo it would result in farming returning to horse and buggy, didn’t occur to me. Big problem trying to buy out-dated equipment I guess. Lots of “buzz” words that contain no meaningful definition. “social licence”, “activism”, “romantic Ideal”, “fear mongering” to name a few. I gather from the video that bio corporate, (farmers excluded) never engage in gathering social licence (advertising); or activism (lobbying), fear mongering (starving population), nor romantic Ideals (golden rice). Its just the opposition party who need or perform these unseemly deeds. Romantic Ideal?; ever go to your eye appointment and get offered rice instead of glasses or surgery? Doctors office? After entertaining myself with the video I was still left with the following questions. Why did I not see opposing scientists educating each other. Why did I not see the “Educators” teaching activists. Could the witnessing farmers in that room have benefited from the rebuttal and formed their own answers? After all, the questions they are facing are coming from that source. But alas, scientists are sworn to secrecy. In the absence thereof, and likened to any salesmen, its easy to sell a product if you follow the script. In contrast, quite another matter if you’re a relevant consumer talking to the manufacturer and then to the designer. That being said, a product that is provided by nature cannot be patented. Un-patentable measures should be extended to all food and their products regardless of their manufacturing. (seeds included) Secrecy is repugnant, and within the Agra-business industry and others, (farmers excluded) we are plagued by it. That is the “challenge of this magnitude”. Disclosure is increasingly being demanded and compliance is competitively denied. The rights of the corporation end where the rights of humans begin- is a maxim.


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