Day 5: Farm Bill Needs “Palavering”
“Musings of a Pig Farmer” by Larry Sailer
Since this is November and folks on social media platforms are sharing #thanks, I’d like to say how thankful I am to have a chance to share my thoughts weekly on TheFieldPosition.
This past week I posted a comment on Facebook for the purpose of seeing how closely it would be read. I wrote: “Spending so much time in the fields this fall, I have given this a lot of thought, and decided I should say, something profound…”
The placement of a comma can be overlooked so easily. I know many really were in suspense, waiting for what I had to say. Others caught it right away!
This brings up a point I often make about how we must listen first before determining what another person is trying to say. I made this statement in Michele Payn-Knoper’s book, No More Food Fight, “A conversation must include listening. I need to know the concerns of people and to learn how they view what I do. I don’t live on Old McDonald’s Farm anymore and my farm animals are not the same as the cartoon characters you see on TV.”
The difficult part for me is that too many conversations are one sided. For example, the anti-GMO crowd has what seems to be an unending list of talking point. Emotion rules with talk of Agent Orange and fears that mutinational corporations are taking over our food supply. The real clear and present Danger is opposing GMOs. There have been so many good points made about GMOs that the debate should be over, but emotion rules!
I learned a new word today, palaver, as in The Vatican Enters a GMO “Palaver.” I’ll admit that I had no idea what this word meant before I read this Agri-Pulse headline. I looked it up to find palaver means “a patient and thorough exploration of a major problem.” The word I key in on here is “patient,” and I take this to mean to listen!
Just think the progress that could be made if we had a palaver on the Farm Bill right now! An article by Brigitte McMinn explains how regulations are paved with good intentions, but it questions what good our government regulations really accomplish and at what cost. This article takes on the SNAP program and how it became connected to the Farm Bill. It also digs in to a part of the bill pushed by HSUS to more regulate animal welfare. There’s a really important call to action at the end, so please read it!
I know getting involved takes time and effort, but keep in mind my new word for the week – palaver! Tomorrow on #AgChat, there will be discussions on ag legislation and the Farm Bill. Hopefully, you can join the conversation between 8-10 p.m. EST. Remember, your voice can’t be heard if you don’t speak up for agriculture!