Don’t get angry, get posting — about cereal, glyphosate, and being heard

Unless you live under a rock, chances are you came across an article that absolutely made your blood boil this week. (No, I’m not talking about the Karlsson trade…)

I won’t mention who wrote it. It should be quite obvious by saying “glyphosate and breakfast cereal.”

I’m fairly new to working in the agricultural sector so glyphosate is something I really hadn’t paid attention to, until now. Since starting with RealAgriculture, I’ve spent a good number of hours googling glyphosate, and I still have so many questions.

That being said, when the article in question was published, I thought my Twitter timeline was going to explode —  it was as if someone had the coupon code for free pizza and was sharing it with anyone and everyone. The tweets were endless, and still now, a week out, they continue to clog my feed.

So, I ventured on over to Facebook, and it was the same thing — share after share. The number of people absolutely bashing this report, the reporter, and the news agency was a bit crazy in my eyes.

Now, to give credit to a few out there, I did see some educational posts which is where the idea sprouted for me to write this.

(If you don’t get this MEME, click here)

No matter what your view is on the subject matter, you must THINK before you SHARE.

You see countless activists groups taking to social media platforms to share their views about whatever subject they’re passionate about. My thoughts: Good for them. Two thumbs up.

On the other hand, I see people sharing whatever article the groups have pushed out, and YELLING IN CAPITAL LETTERS or swearing at how the other group is wrong.

My thoughts? Make your own darn post about whatever YOU believe in.

The funny thing about social media, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram et al., is that they build off people’s reactions. This means the more you share/like/comment/retweet something, the more it shows up on other people’s (including your own) pages and feeds. Further, by sharing a particular post (even your ALL CAPS angry comments) you make it a ‘popular item’ on the news websites and social media platforms and that makes even more people click on it.

My point? If you write your own post, then maybe more people — activists included — will see how you raise free-range chickens, or how your beef is VBP+ certified and had to go through audits in order to get be sold, or how you as a farmer wouldn’t have your own children eat the wheat/corn/potato/flax you produce, if it had XYZ on it. Then, that information would be spread around and, for a lack of a better word, trump the rest of the information you believe is false because then it would have a larger presence on the internet than the articles you don’t like.

When I attended the Canadian Beef Industry Conference last month, one speaker said something along the lines of “consumers are really willing to take one article, or one fact they heard (whether true or not), and run with it.”

It really stuck with me.

So instead of getting all huffy and puffy about one article, why don’t you make your own post, tweet, meme, or vlog?

I encourage you to engage in civil conversations over social media. (Spoiler alert, sometimes you just have to agree to disagree on the subject!) Write a post on Facebook about how great your farm operation is and the multiple generations that are involved with it. Share a photo on twitter which shows your son or daughter involved in 4-H, or explain why you use Roundup Ready crops, and how detrimental it could be if you didn’t have access to them.

I get it, farmers are a passionate bunch. I just hope, if you’re a farmer reading this, you will think before you click that share button and instead make your own darn post.

 

Jessika Guse

Jessika Guse is RealAgriculture's newest field editor and news lead for RealAg Radio. She's been a reporter since 2015 and has covered a variety of topics including one of her favourites, agriculture! Although she's never grown up on the farm, she loves helping out and learning as much as she can when she visits her families heritage farm near Ebenezer, Sask. You can find Jessika on Twitter at @JessikaGuse

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