Why should I care about activism?
Activism is key for change.
As a farmer you may feel like your everyday life is totally separate from the worldly issues covered in the news. However, a lot of issues, from political to environmental, can directly effect your health, happiness and livelihood. In particular, there is a lot of misconceptions about farmer or ranching that can lead to negative publicity for ranchers or growers.
Here are some issues that may effect you:
Do you raise happy sheep for premium wool? Did you know that there are videos and information online promoting the idea that sheep are tortured during shearing? I don't even raise sheep and this misinformation annoys me. Please see this video PETA versus the wool industry, about how this misinformation affected Australian sheep producers.
Are you keeping extra records and strict standards to be certified organic? Did you know that fruits and vegetables from some extremely questionable countries can be certified organic with little or no proof and compete with your carefully grown organic crops? A recent Canadian study showed that 77% of organic grapes, 59% of organic tomatoes and 67% of organic strawberries contained pesticide residues. Most of the crops tested were imported; Canada imports 80% of its produce. The USA imports a lot of fruits and vegetables from China; a country with extremely lax food safety standards especially with concern to organics. Does that concern you? Read more about it here.
You may want to advocate to help prevent depression in farmers, promote a specific bill or law, raise funding for young urban farmers, advocate for pollinator gardens in your city, or protect arable farming land from development.
For all of these issues and more, you need to become more aware of local, regional and country activism. Due to a growing disconnect between those who consume food and those who grow or raise food, many consumers don't realize the needs of rural or urban growers. You can't depend on them knowing or voting for what is best for you or your farming operation.
We are going to use this section to alert you about issues you may feel passionately about, as well as help you decide what to do with that passion. Whether it is convincing your town to legalize pet hens or convincing your state to start protecting farm land, you can make a difference.