Time to Break Stereotypes of California Farmers

Among the many lessons learned from the trials and tribulations of 2020, it has been our ability to change and adapt that has provided one of the biggest lessons.

We all learned and embraced new ways to work, shop, conduct business, and meet.

But what about how we think? Have we really changed that much?

With so much on the table for discussion, it seems appropriate to suggest that we as Californians revisit how we think about agriculture, one of the most misunderstood and maligned groups of people in the state. Given that a staggering 95 percent of Californians live in urban areas, this should come as no surprise.

Despite being more disconnected than ever from how their food is grown, people increasingly care that it is safe, local, sustainable and ethically sourced. Farmers share these values. But unfortunately, farmers are some of the worst communicators. They are too busy growing our food, fighting pests and diseases, or following government regulations to really talk about their efforts.

The result? A massive knowledge gap for most Californians on the subject of food and farming. It hasn’t helped that special interests have filled this gap with misinformation, distorted science, and outdated ideas.

HealthyPlants.org will be publishing stories that take a deeper look at how California farmers really farm. How they are innovators who have dramatically reduced reliance on resources and pesticides. How they have worked with regulators to provide the safest food and working conditions anywhere in the world.

In the coming year, this blog will be challenging a range of stereotypes and unsupported perceptions about farmers. We will be publishing stories that:

  • Provide information to our lawmakers that fosters a better understanding of farmers, and debunks stereotypes.

  • Demonstrate how California agriculture is already heavily regulated, making California farms, workers, and food the safest in the world.
  • Promote the many ways farmers continue to be California’s original environmentalists.
  • Showcase the many ways farmers fight climate change, which is a major threat to them.
  • Explore the world of pollinators – the real threats and how farmers are protecting them.
  • Explain and remind policy makers about the serious dangers pests and disease have on our food supply – and the need to fight back with pesticides and healthier soils.
  • Put science and data up against those who continue to discriminate against farmers.

We no longer live in the 1960s. California farmers have innovated, adapted, and changed for the better the past 60 years. While staying mindful of the ever-changing times, we have moved light years away from Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and Cesar Chavez’s marches. In the coming year, HealthyPlants.org looks forward to bringing California’s urban residents and lawmakers into the year 2021.

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