A Titanic Need For Ag Education

Depending upon your perspective, this will be the scariest or funniest thing you are apt to read this week on the know-how of the American public. The other day, I ran across an article talking about the death of Rodney King. As you might remember, King was at the heart of the riots that broke out in Los Angeles during the early 1990s, where four officers were acquitted of his beating despite the presence of videotape as evidence.

In this story, a reporter was communicating about King’s death with some other average folks using social media. He was surprised to learn how few of the people he was texting with knew who King was.

Okay, this in itself isn’t that surprising. King had his 15 minutes of fame 20 years ago and had largely faded from public view in the interim.

However, as the reporter dug a bit deeper, he discovered that his audience was not only ignorant on King and his role in history but other key historical events as well. Perhaps most surprising, the reporter found that more than 20 texters didn’t realize the movie “Titanic” was based upon a real shipwreck.

“Wait!” wrote one texter. “Titanic really happened? I thought it was just a movie.”

When I first read this, I chuckled. Then, I got scared. If there is a portion of the American public this clueless about one of the most widely reported on disasters of the past 100 years, what chance does agriculture have to have been heard spreading its positive messages of sustainability and stewardship?

This is why ag retailers, trade groups and grower-customers need to constantly step up and help educate the American public on our industry’s practices. Otherwise, we will all risk having a sizable portion of people in this country believing the text of that old joke, that “their food comes from the supermarket.”

Except the joke will be on us!

Leave a Reply

One comment on “A Titanic Need For Ag Education

  1. This is the critical issue of the 21st Century. It is not just your industry, but all of society. It is all about context and relativity. If we want to b "players" in modern society we need to identify the context of what we do in terms of years not decades…minutes, not days. I can you and my colleagues mumbling about the unfairness of this environment. Unfair…yes,…real? Absolutely! Ironically, I'm in D.C. And just sat through a session with the current Sec. of Ag where he "lectured" us on the need to "market" agricultural research more effectively…as if, if we just tel them, they will believe. I, for one, have been dog that for 36 years…I can tell you that will not work. What can we doto help the producers we work with and the consumers of their products recognize the vaue of food in our lives. Nourishment, source of revenue, better health…terms that the public can relate to. Sec. Vilsack noted that the US produces 25% of the worlds food with only 1% of the world's production force. Point being, numbers that relate to my life make more sense. If the world had 25% less food…where would you…every single one of you…be? IMHO Dave

Eric Sfiligoj Stories

Trimble TMX-2050 In-Cab Display
Eric SfiligojThe Precision Ag Revolution Continues
May 24, 2016
It’s funny how much “the first time” tends to mean to someone as they get older. I sometimes can’t recall Read More
Eric SfiligojPity The Monsanto Haters
May 23, 2016
An old saying goes thus: “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” Given current events, there Read More
Eric SfiligojReasons For Hope In Commodity Prices
May 2, 2016
For many months now, the doomsayers have ruled the day in agriculture. Too much supply with too little demand would Read More
Eric SfiligojMissing The Family Ties In Agriculture
April 25, 2016
By its nature, the agriculture market is cyclical. Up and down cycles come and go with a regular pattern. For Read More
Trending Articles
Eric SfiligojPity The Monsanto Haters
May 23, 2016
An old saying goes thus: “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” Given current events, there Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Crop InputsReport: Bayer Eyeing Monsanto For Possible Mega-Merger
May 16, 2016
Bayer AG is exploring a potential bid for U.S. competitor Monsanto Co. in a deal that would create the world’s Read More
Aerial Drone
Precision AgA Deeper Dive Into The Future Of Precision Ag
May 9, 2016
For about two decades now, through the good and the bad times, the ups and the downs inherent in agriculture, Read More
Palmer amaranth in soybean stubble
HerbicidesWSSA: Billions In Potential Economic Losses From Uncontrolled Weeds
May 4, 2016
What losses would corn and soybean growers experience if they were forced to eliminate herbicides and other control techniques from Read More
Eric SfiligojReasons For Hope In Commodity Prices
May 2, 2016
For many months now, the doomsayers have ruled the day in agriculture. Too much supply with too little demand would Read More
Eric SfiligojMissing The Family Ties In Agriculture
April 25, 2016
By its nature, the agriculture market is cyclical. Up and down cycles come and go with a regular pattern. For Read More
Latest News
ManagementWashington Visit and Bayer/Monsanto Deal Update
May 26, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discusses a recent trip to DC and the latest news on the proposed pairing Read More
Fertilizer closeup in hand
Industry NewsVerdesian: Striking A Balance Between Yield & ROI
May 26, 2016
Finely tuned nutrient management plans are helping farmers throughout the U.S. improve nutrient use efficiency, increase return on investment (ROI) Read More
Crop InputsLand O’Lakes Announces Minnesota Water Quality Pa…
May 25, 2016
Governor Mark Dayton and Land O’Lakes, Inc. President and CEO Chris Policinski today announced a new public-private partnership to protect Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
Industry NewsMonsanto Rejects Bayer Bid; Open To More Talks
May 25, 2016
Monsanto Co, the world’s largest seed company, turned down Bayer AG’s $62 billion acquisition bid as “incomplete and financially inadequate” Read More
Corn close up
Crop InputsArysta LifeScience Establishes Global Headquarters In R…
May 25, 2016
Arysta LifeScience has announced plans to relocate its global headquarters from West Palm Beach, FL, to Cary, NC, over the Read More
fertilizer blending and storage, Top 100
BlendersCHS Dakota Expansion Features AGCO’s GSI InterSys…
May 25, 2016
The continued growth of precision agriculture has increased farmer use of customized fertilizer blends best-suited for their soil conditions. Several Read More
ManagementAgriculture 3.5: A Bumpy Road Ahead
May 24, 2016
You may have read my article a few years ago on Agriculture 3.0, which is a term I coined to Read More
Topcon’s X30 display with CropSpec sensors
EquipmentGPS Autosteer Systems: Product Updates From Precision A…
May 24, 2016
Throughout 2015 GPS Steering solutions continued to evolve from what was once an after-market add on, to today’s cab where Read More
Trimble TMX-2050 In-Cab Display
Eric SfiligojThe Precision Ag Revolution Continues
May 24, 2016
It’s funny how much “the first time” tends to mean to someone as they get older. I sometimes can’t recall Read More
Eric Wintemute, AMVAC
Precision AgAMVAC Ups The Ante With New Precision Ag Technology
May 24, 2016
A potentially industry-changing at-plant soil treatment system from American Vanguard Corp., or AMVAC, is coming soon to large growers in Read More
Dry and Liquid Plant
CropLife 100CropLife 100 Map
May 24, 2016
The new CropLife 100 map shows the locations of each of the headquarters of the 2015 CropLife 100 retailers. The interactive Read More
Southern States Cooperative
Corn Field
Industry NewsTiger-Sul Names Veteran Account Manager To Lead Central…
May 23, 2016
With the continuing growth of the sulphur bentonite and precision crop nutrient industry, global agriculture firm H.J. Baker has announced that Read More
Bayer sign
Industry NewsReuters: Bayer Defies Critics With $62 Billion Monsanto…
May 23, 2016
German drugs and crop chemicals group Bayer has offered to buy U.S. seeds company Monsanto for $62 billion in cash, Read More
Eric SfiligojPity The Monsanto Haters
May 23, 2016
An old saying goes thus: “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” Given current events, there Read More
Industry NewsCompass Minerals Hires Industry Veteran To Lead Plant N…
May 19, 2016
Compass Minerals has hired plant nutrition industry veteran Vatren Jurin to steer the company’s portfolio expansion into specialty liquid micronutrient Read More
ASMARK Retailers LIVE! Tour 2016 Group shot The Andersons
CropLife 100The Andersons Rejects Unsolicited Proposal From HC2
May 19, 2016
The Andersons, Inc. has announced that its Board of Directors has rejected two non-binding, highly conditional, unsolicited proposals from HC2 Read More
glyphosate
Crop InputsWHO: Glyphosate ‘Unlikely’ To Cause Cancer
May 16, 2016
Via Reuters.com reporter Kate Kelland: The weed-killing pesticide glyphosate, made by Monsanto and widely used in agriculture and by gardeners, Read More