Hey Organic Farmer Friends- I’m Calling You Out

I just viewed a recent marketing video that is circulating the internet, put out by Only Organic, whose members include Stonyfield, Organic Valley, Earthbound Farm and Annie’s Homegrown just to name a few.

The curtain rises to show a stage full of elementary students dancing and singing to the tune of Old MacDonald as they act out a very dramatic, inaccurate portrayal of modern farming. I can scarcely describe the sick feeling in my stomach as I watch this hateful propaganda and fear-based agenda that exploits children. It ends as the farm turns into an organic New MacDonald.

American farmers today are outnumbered 99 to 1. Is it necessary to attack any? Do we have any to spare? We talk about great advancements in science and the many tools and technologies available today that farmers can choose to use. It appears to me that conventional farmers are much more accepting of other’s practices and methods, whereas the organic industry continually uses fear-marketing and shameful tactics like this video to sell their products. As a mom and a consumer, I have simply had enough.

This campaign is truly hate speech for profit.

But WHAT IF the role is reversed? What if I gather a group of children to sing a similar song…

Old MacDonald had a farm, ee-i-ee-i-o

And in his farm, he invested less, ee-i-ee-i-o

So his a-ni-mals, didn’t do as well,

Thought his farm he’d have to sell,

Old MacDonald had a farm, ee-i-ee-i-o

 And over time, he let things slide, ee-i-ee-i-o

So his soil wasn’t great and his crops didn’t grow,

He had to figure out a way to bring in more dough,

Old MacDonald had a farm, ee-i-ee-i-o

 But organic marketing saved his day, ee-i-ee-i-o

Now crappy farmers had a new way, ee-i-ee-i-o

To get paid more for producing less,

By using fear and lies to make a big mess…

 (slow down – dramatic ending!!!…)

 Now organic MacDonald makes a lot of money on his farm…

EE-I-EE-I OOOOOOOOOOOO

 

It’s great, huh?? Something I should be proud of? Truth? No, no and no. But it’s a similar tone and as truthful as the Only Organic campaign. This brings back memories of my grandpa, who always told us “never play in the mud with pigs because you’ll just get dirty and the only one who likes it is the pig.”

I hope all farmers that supply products to the group of companies in the Only Organic brand take a long hard look in the mirror, because they are supporting hate speech and unacceptable propaganda. I am ashamed of Only Organic and am completely embarrassed that they represent any part of agriculture today. You should be too.

To all organic farmers, I challenge you to call out this campaign for what it is. You provide a safe, high quality product, so why would you allow a company like this to represent you?

Connect with consumers based on facts and share your “why” Market the reasons why you farm and why you choose the practices you do. There are many similarities between organic and conventional farming. You share many of the same practices, just using different products when it comes to things like pesticides and fertilizers. You too take pride in your everyday work and provide safe food. All farmers, no matter what production method they use, care for the land and animals in a way that provides safe, nutritious food for families everywhere. All farmers share this passion and all farmers have a livelihood to be proud of. You too have a business to sustain and need to make a profit and have a marketplace to do so in.

As a mom and a consumer, I would love to see you launch your own positive and respectful campaign that truly represents who you are and what you stand for, without misinformation and hateful propaganda.

I know you are not Only Organic – you are much more than that. You deserve better.