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Testimony: Modern Technologies in Agriculture

By Alan from Tennessee

What do you think is the biggest misconception about modern ag?

The biggest public misconception about agriculture is thinking the agricultural industry employs technologies that have harmful effects on humans and the environment. It is natural to be skeptical and even fearful of concepts that we don’t understand. Unfortunately, skepticism and fear are nurtured by many sources in public media and reiterated through all levels of society through social media, magazines and one-on-one conversations between well-meaning and rightly-motivated people. It seems that a thousand unbiased studies by reputable scientists and organizations can be completely ignored when one or two less thorough or biased studies support skepticism and fear.

Reputable scientists and organizations should continue to conduct research to ensure we have a safe food supply; however, the research will only be recognized as credible when it is presented at a grass-roots level by well-educated and well-prepared ambassadors in our communities. When individuals accept opportunities to speak at civic clubs, classrooms, other community venues, and when we are prepared and confident to communicate the facts about agricultural technologies in our homes with family and friends, we will see a gradual positive change in our society’s acceptance of what we know is true.

Last week I was invited to speak at my son’s middle school career day. It was a great opportunity to be a positive example for modern agriculture. I entertained very good questions from sixth graders who want more information regarding what they hear at home and from media sources. One girl said her mom is allergic to gluten and can’t eat corn products because genetically modified corn has more gluten. I had an opportunity to gently correct the misconception, openly discuss the process of genetic modification and talk about the many benefits we have because of modern agricultural technologies.

Interested in submitting your testimony for potential inclusion in the TMM blog? Complete your Master’s in Modern Ag and include your thoughts in the third question.