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- SPECIAL REPORT -

Farm Group Sends Strong
Message About Ag

  


 
Where commonly held misconceptions about agriculture originate was explored at a recent session of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 89th annual conference in New Orleans.

“Addressing Misconceptions About Agriculture” is a teaching tool produced by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. The teaching kit addresses common misconceptions about agriculture using sound, science-based information.

Betty Wolanyk, director of education and research for the foundation, explains where many misconceptions originate, in addition to demonstrating how to use the instruction kit.

“We need people to understand modern agriculture and how the food they eat is produced,” Wolanyk says.

Fighting Back

Misconceptions about agriculture frequently are perpetuated by textbooks, children’s books, media of all types but especially ads, movies and the Internet, Wolanyk says.

“Children’s movies, in particular, often perpetuate misconceptions about modern agriculture,” she says. “The next time you watch a children’s movie that portrays animal agriculture, take a very close look at it.”

Human activity causes all soil erosion is one of the misconceptions addressed by the kit.

Wolanyk recounts her experience in attempting to convince a college professor to take this erroneous fact out of one of his textbooks.

“Have you ever heard of the Grand Canyon?” was the question she posed that ended the debate once and for all.

There are more than 100 activist groups intent on attacking agriculture in the United States. Combined, these groups have an aggregate $500 million annual budget and many of them are working to convince America’s consumers there is no need for animal agriculture and their food supply is poisoned, Wolanyk explains.

The instruction kit produced by the foundation includes everything farmers and ranchers need to challenge common misconceptions about agriculture. The kit’s 35 issues cover topics ranging from DDT to global food issues and nutrition to organic food production.

The kit was designed for classroom use at the high school and college levels. A shorter version that can be presented in 45 minutes to an hour or adapted for an even shorter presentation was also created.

“Addressing Misconceptions About Agriculture” instructors’ kits may be ordered at www.ageducate.org.

American Farm Bureau Federation’s communications department provided information for this article.

 


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