Last week, Chipotle Mexican Grill released a video and video game based on a fictional world where all food is produced by giant corporation, Crow Foods, and you help a scarecrow on his "quest for better food." Illinois Farm Families Field Moms spend a year touring real Illinois farms and meeting real Illinois farmers. They have seen first hand that there is a difference between real agriculture and what was portrayed in the video, but one of the 2013 Field Moms went even further. She emailed one of the tour hosts, corn and soybean farmer, Paul Jeschke, hoping that even though he was busy with harvest, he would have a few minutes to share his perspective on the Chipotle video. Below are Paul's thoughts:
It's good to hear from you. You are indeed correct. We are busy getting prepared for harvest which will start in a matter of days. It's certainly an exciting time on the farm as it is the culmination of all of the year's efforts. The speculation will be over and we will know just what our production turns out to be. It's kind of like working all year but having no idea what you'll get paid until the end.
But back to your question about the Chipotle ad, yes I have seen it. My first reaction is one of disappointment. Disappointment that there are otherwise intelligent folks out there that have no appreciation or understanding of what modern agriculture is doing to feed our world.
I find it interesting that they don't want farmers to modernize. They prefer for us to continue to farm as we did in our great-grandparents' time. Yet these folks don't want to live their lives like their great-grandparents did. They want their 50" wall mount digital televisions with over 100 channels, I-phones, I-pads, game boys, satellite guidance in their hybrid car, Skype for talking with the college student, fresh vegetables and flowers year around, well you can continue on yourself.
I want the same thing on my farm. I want to continue to figure out how to get more yield with less inputs than the year before. I want to continue to use the new technology that helps me to place the fertilizer on my field only where it's needed. I want the cutting edge software program in the new planter that we bought which allows us to place more seeds in the highest productive part of the field, and less seeds in the poorer area where they would just be wasted. I want to stop applying pesticides when there are safer and more effective alternative methods of pest control.
I am so excited to have the opportunity to farm today with the modern marvels of technology that we have available to us. And it continues to bewilder me as to why there are a few out there that want us to farm in the past.