Question: What do you think is the biggest public misconception about agriculture? How would you help to fix it?
I think the biggest misconception the public has about agriculture is that organic is better because supposedly no pesticide product is being used. Through information forums, I have learned that just because a label says it is organically grown, it does not mean it is 100% organic.
What people fail to recognize is that before a pesticide can be used, it must go through rigorous testing by the manufacturer and government agencies (who has set very high safety standards) and takes approximately 10 years to bring the product to the marketplace. As long as a pesticide has been applied according to the directions on the label, it is safe to the environment and the consumer. Also, with the diminishing farmland and the increased number of people in the world, unless we have some kind of modern agriculture, there will not be enough food to go around.
I think the best way to address this misconception in agriculture is to educate as many people as possible. Since we live in an electronic age, this can be done through the radio, television, and internet and also by word of mouth. As employees in the ag industry, we have an obligation to educate ourselves so that we can have an open dialogue with those people against the use of pesticides.
Research Triangle Park, NC