It may seem there’s nothing positive about modern agriculture in the media. Last week, we were subjected to a “Nightline” “investigative” report on a dairy farm in New York. The report should have been called a “sensationalized” report. It spouted the agenda of animal rights groups and did little to talk about the positive aspects of modern dairy production.
But, there are those who feel our pain. And Mike Rowe, host of the television program “Dirty Jobs,” is one of them. Rowe is a champion for people who work hard and has even begun a foundation, Mike Rowe Works, that says “Work is not the enemy.”
Recently, I watched one of his videos, which began this way:
“In so many ways today it seems that America’s farmers are under siege. Every year, we expect them to grow more and more food with less and less land. And every year they do it– but the grief! The grief seems to come from all sides: environmental groups, animal rights activists–everyone seems to have their own specific agenda. And the media, God bless us, just can’t seem to tell the whole story.”
This was the introduction to a video Rowe narrated promoting the United Egg Producers Certified Program. Rowe makes no bones about the fact that United Egg Producers made a contribution to his Mike Rowe Works program, but he said he’s happy to be able to help farmers.
The video covered at great length the advantages of modern technology on an egg farm but also pointed out that no system is perfect. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, but modern technology is better for a hen’s health as well as the food safety of the eggs.
A History Channel program, “Modern Marvels,” also recently discussed the egg production industry. It showed all aspects of the industry, from modern high-tech production, to cage-free to pasture raised. The show discussed the advantages and disadvantages of each and shared the cost of a dozen eggs produced in each type of facility. And while not each tiny detail was exactly correct, the overall message was balanced and positive. It neither criticized nor exalted one method over the other. It was a balanced view of the egg production industry and didn’t once quote the Humane Society of the United States.
So when media does well, we need to acknowledge it. Because I believe, as Mike Rowe said, “Telling and hearing the whole story is never a bad thing.”
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