Call To Action: A Letter Writing Campaign

As many of you have probably already heard, a vegetable garden has been planted on the White House grounds in Washington, DC, the first since Eleanor Roosevelt’s “victory garden� during World War II. The garden is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s crusade to promote healthy eating.

The garden is a great idea and the photo op of the First Lady and local elementary schoolchildren digging up the ground was precious, but did you realize that it will be an organic garden? What message does that send the general public about the agriculture industry that the majority of you are so proud to serve? What message does that send to the non-farming public about an important and integral part of growing safe and abundant crops to feed and clothe the world — crop protection products?

Bonnie McCarvel, executive director of the Mid-America CropLife Association and Janet Braun, CropLife Ambassador coordinator, “shuddered� at the thought that the White House garden will be organic. The pair chose to send the First Lady a letter, encouraging her to consider using crop protection products and to recognize the importance of agriculture to the entire U.S. economy.

Bonnie and Janet are to be applauded for getting the industry’s message out there so clearly. But how much effect will a single letter have?

I hope that you will take a moment to consider how important that message is to your livelihood, your passion for agriculture, and your growers’ future — and send your own letter, sharing the benefits of modern, conventional agriculture. Help allay any fears by providing a specific example of how what you do on a daily basis, including custom application and/or the sale of crop protection products and fertilizers, has saved a crop and/or improved yields to benefit more Americans.

If you want to send your own letter, it can be sent to the White House at

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12 comments on “Call To Action: A Letter Writing Campaign

  1. It would probably be considered naive, but I don’t think our industry should get all bent out of shape over Mrs. Obama putting in a garden and designating it organic. God knows a great number of our fellow americans could use some lessons in healthy food consumption. I would be more concerned if she starts making speeches on the USDA-ARS funding only organic research projects. I’ve grown a 1000 sqft garden for 35 years and I don’t use any more crop protection materials than I absolutely have to, because I know how difficult it is to get them applied to a small area accurately. After Mrs. Obama battles a few bugs and blights, the novelty will wear off and she’ll probably abandon the idea of a garden and enroll it in CRP. We have far more important battles to fight than this one.

  2. Should Mrs. Obama and her little students don gas masks, goggles, and plastic suits to tend to their garden? Could kids even be part of the garden if you are spraying all the time? What about the re-entry signs posted all around it? The garden is a symbol of reconnecting with the earth and our food supply- how do we do that when the re-entry signs say we can’t come in and that kids aren’t allowed? By attacking this garden, you are showing your weakness of thought. Give us a break- this is a small food garden- a few bugs are no big deal. The Obamas are not trying to feed the world with it, just their family….

  3. “Shuddered” at the thought of a small organic garden? That’s a joke, right? The message that this sends to the non-farming public is that a small garden doesn’t always need Round-Up. Oh no, you’re right. I see how that WOULD destroy modern agriculture as we know it.

  4. Oh My! Corporate Farming, rocked to its core by a tiny little “home” garden raised without pesticides – There goes our Economy! OH WAIT…. the Economy is ALREADY gone, Thanks mostly to Corporate values. Having these women “shudder” at the thought of food grown without poisons clearly shows that Mega Farming operates under the motto “BETTER LIVING THRU CHEMISTRY”.. Now THAT makes ME shudder!

  5. I am astounded that this has caused alarm within the industry. Of course this is likely to be a public relations disaster now that is is public. I am not one who is opposed to non-organic methods but reading this makes me wonder about what kind of person would be this paranoid. It looks like something that would be posted in the Onion if it were not for the professional advertising on this site.

    Hmm, I guess I will not purchase any pesticides or herbicide this year just as a protest. I can get by with less and perhaps this is just what I needed to consider no longer using as much as I have in the past. Perhaps it is time for all of us to consider cutting down the use of commercial fertilizers and other “Crop protection” products.

    I don’t know who I should thank for sending me the link to this site but thank you anyway. I am sure it is gong to be sent around to many people.

  6. Who needs chemicals on a backyard garden? Why would you bother?

    A bit of compost does the trick for fertilizer, and pests are a pain but no big deal. I’ve never had anything more than aphids on my roses anyway.

    I don’t bother buying organic fruits and veggies – I’m not that hard core, and I believe it’s more important to be able to provide fresh produce to everyone. But get a grip people.

    Gardens functioned perfectly well before chemical fertilizers and herbicides and pesticides. This posting makes your industry look nuts.

  7. This has absolutely got to be a joke! I have forwarded this to everyone I know for a good laugh…although if it is for real, it is not very funny at all. The very thought that there are people out there who “shudder” at the thought that Ms. Obama is choosing NOT to poison her children is scary and sick-that’s why this has to be a joke.

  8. Hi folks, I want to argue that organics are a hyped commodity and we are being fooled into thinking that there is some spectacular goodness about organic food. There is such trace existence of chemicals on the food in our grocery stores, that organic is simply boiling down to another label that allows companies to charge a premium for their product. Furthermore, GMO products are a prime example of the positive outcome of technology in relation to our food supply. Why are we afraid of genetically modifying plants in a lab, when we have been doing it outdoors for hundreds of years?

    To the question of making Mrs. Obama and the children wear gas masks to tend to their garden”, I think it’s ridiculous to exaggerate to this extreme. The chemicals are not something we would want to actively spray on a person directly, so shame on you for creating an untrue view of the facts. Plant pesticides are made for plants, so certainly we want to avoid contact with skin. How many people could locate bug spray in their homes? Do you spray it wearing a full plastic suit and goggles? I think not.

  9. There’s a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico from all the farm run-off that flows down the Mississippi River. Nothing can survive there. This is a result primarily of our use of chemical herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers.

  10. Just think! If each family in American planted a 4 x 4 organic garden and started a healthy lifestyle of exercise and healthy eating, we would transform this country and eliminate so many problems. Try it!

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