Whether it’s online, on the television or radio, in a newspaper or elsewhere, the media constantly feeds us information. What we hear or read is subject to some interpretation depending on the source, subject matter and possible slant. Our responsibility as consumers of media is to interpret an overwhelming amount of information to the best of our abilities. In their testimonials, a few MMA recipients address the influence of the media in communicating about modern agriculture:
“Until you work in or near the agricultural world, you lack the appreciation for the necessities of crop protection. Media hype endorses false information and scares the mass public by premature publication and incorrect facts. Working in the crop protection field, I have gained an appreciation for our nation’s and world’s growers, and have an understanding of what it takes for me and the rest of the world to eat a variety of foods.
-Ben, St. Gabriel, LA
“Since I work in the agricultural products industry, and, more specifically, for a basic manufacturer of crop protection products, it is no surprise I get into discussions with family and friends who have misperceptions about agricultural crop protection products. As is typical, they question the need and safety of these products, often citing the latest popular news from sensational media. The news referenced typically centers on human health or environmental impacts. I don’t try to immediately convince them that the media or their perception is wrong. I start by asking about the background of their comment and the specifics that led to and support their concerns or negative perceptions. From there I offer information and I relate to my own experiences on farms and as a long-time employee of an agricultural products company. These facts are used when appropriate to counter their perceptions and help them understand the safety evaluation and benefits of modern agricultural products.”
-Roy, Greensboro, NC
“I have worked in the agricultural business for seven years now. I have found it remarkable that people take one article and run with it as fact. I don’t think some people are taking the time to fully research issues that concern them. If they did they would find out how much the agricultural community does to protect our environment and our food. I am proud of the company I work for and being in the agricultural industry. It is a complex and interesting industry, and I love that I learn something new every day.”
-Terri, Minnetonka, MN