Thursday, August 30, 2012

Monsanto - an accidental conversation

I have been following the anti-Monsanto discussions from a distance.  I would not consider myself well educated on the subject. Earlier this week I stumbled upon some twitter followers who are anti-Monsanto on behalf of farmers.  I thought what better way to get educated then from an opposing side of any subject matter.

From the conversation I have gathered they are blaming Monsanto for stealing farms from farmers, farmer suicides, killing land,water and bees. These people are clearly upset.  I ended with saying I would like to have a conversation with a farmer who used Monsanto products and has deemed them as evil. They said they hoped I would be open to hearing from them, if I ever did meet someone from that view point.  And I am!

While I don't think Monsanto is trying to kill anyone or anything, I do have some unfavorable feelings about their business.  One just stems from jealousy, that a group of people can develop such a tremendous seed of science and then get a patent.  For a company to develop a system enabling farmers to keep their own seed they grow and produce to replant for another crop.  But, it is the law and if you break it you will be punished, most likely in  a very expensive way. The other BEEF I have with Monsanto comes from the day when the company merged and sent a letter to my Dad to tell him after over 30 years of selling seed for them they no longer needed his services.  My Dad had sold seed corn for them since before I was born.  He sold to mostly smaller farmers.  He sold to a large group of smaller farmers, creating a community, held a customer appreciation day, and planted a test plot.  I understand businesses grow and agronomists seemed to be a good choice for selling their product. However taking away a small dealership from a man who has sold seed for a company for so long seems a little unjust.  They don't know it but they kind of lost, many of Dad's customers just started planting someone else's seed.

A few days after the above mentioned twitter conversation I received an email from a former Organic farmer who is now testifying on behalf of farmers for the Farm Bill.  Through her email I believe she is holding us (farmers) all together.  She is giving us all the opportunity to continue to farm and provide choices for all Americans.  

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