19 May 2013 - Thanks to a Savvy Viewer

I really enjoy hearing from you with your thoughts and ideas. I do read what you send me and very often come away with an idea for my commentary on Samuelson Sez. That is the case this week. I heard from a rancher who brought up a topic that bothers a lot of people in agriculture and those of us in agricultural media.

Let me share with you a portion of the e-mail he sent me...

“Watching NBC’s Today Show this morning has left me with a feeling of disgust and anger toward the way the mainstream media has once again portrayed the concept of agriculture and the American farmer by its way of broadcasting yet another tear-jerking riveting story for the public to see. This story offended me because they took a practice that is handled by the government and found a way to tie the “greedy” rancher into the list of persons to blame for this growing problem with our nation’s wild horse population.

“They got a perspective from a national recording singer/songwriter who sits from a distance and loves the image of horses; telling her side of the story on a hill with a video crew. Yes, I agree that image is quite beautiful and who does not want to see an animal thriving in its environment. But then they pushed the focus of the story toward the rancher, saying he wants those horses gone so he has more BLM land to feed his livestock. This is not the case of farmers and ranchers across our nation. The American farmer does more to protect and preserve our wildlife than any other animal organization in the world. We live in harmony with wildlife, donating our land and crops to feed wildlife, so they can thrive and survive drought and harsh winters.”

He goes on to express more of his feelings....”Maybe to solve the problem of this thriving horse population they should open more horse processing facilities in this country, but no one likes to hear that because we are not a nation that consumes horse meat. But there are a lot of countries that benefit from this viable food source.” He ends his e-mail by saying. . . “ The portrayal of the American agricultural system by media today is so far out of touch, we need a good way of re-educating people to know where food comes from and how it gets to their dinner plate.”

He said it very well and that is why I wanted to share it with you. I, too, am concerned about mainstream media’s lack of understanding of agriculture that all too often produces negative stories that lead to unfair criticism of farmers and ranchers. That’s why we all need to increase our efforts to communicate the true story of American agriculture.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.