Myth – I’m anti-farmer and anti-farming.
Fact – I am a farmer and I do farm. I’m against a food production system that is broken, not profitable for the farmer, and unfair to consumers.
Myth – I’m pushing a vegetarian/vegan agenda and trying to get everyone to stop eating meat and poultry.
Fact – I’m neither vegetarian nor vegan and I do eat meat and poultry. What I do believe is that everyone is entitled to their individual choices about the food that they eat and should not be criticized for their choice. I also believe that we are a country which eats too much meat in our diet and it wouldn’t hurt any of us to eat a bit less.
Myth – I’m an environmentalist and I’m trying to put farmers out of business.
Fact – Farmers are environmentalists and care for the land. I do care about the environment especially in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The Bay is a National Treasure and I don’t believe that any of us have the right to continue killing it. There is a problem of excessive runoff of nitrogen and phosphorus. Much is contributed to concentrated animal production and specifically in my area chicken production.
Farmers do everything within their power to properly dispose of the huge amounts of waste produced by chickens and it’s a herculean task. As with anything there might be a few bad actors but for the majority I don’t think that farmers wantonly pollute the land, streams, rivers, or the Bay.
I believe the problem is in the system which farmers are trapped. Within the poultry industry the chickens are the property of the companies as well as the feed the chickens eat, however the farmer is left with the manure and expected to dispose of it. I don’t believe that all parties involved are shouldering the responsibility of manure disposal.
Myth – I’m an animal rights activist and am pushing a hidden agenda to end the raising of farm animals for food.
Fact – I raise chickens on my farm, independently. I do believe that farm animal’s raised for food should be treated in the best possible way and that the welfare of the animal should take priority over profiting from the misery of the animals. Farm animals for food sustain us and good animal husbandry is the least any of us should practice.
Myth – I’m attempting to end industrial food production.
Fact – Industrial food production is firmly entrenched in our food system. I do believe that it’s a system that is broken and is secretive toward the consumer about how our food is produced.
I also believe that industrial food production has been propped up by indirect subsidies, such as prices for corn used for animal feed which is bought below the actual cost of production, social costs in our communities, public health costs, and environmental costs. All of these internal costs are paid for by taxpayers. If industrial food producers had to shoulder these costs coupled with the rising oil prices, the industry will implode.
I do believe in alternative farming and food production methods. It offers choices for farmers and consumers. I don’t promote any particular alternative methods that are being practiced however I do promote practices which are sustainable for the farm and the surrounding communities.