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 bit.ly/1PskPOj, succinctly encourages farmers to get involved in the conversation about food, lest it takes place without them. It refers viewers to the agmorethanever.ca site to show how to get involved.

License to Farm, which can be found at licensetofarm.com, 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.

brian.macleod@producer.com

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