Do Farmers Have Choices?

I’ve never re-blogged someone else’s blog but with the march against Monsanto in the books I felt it necessary to share this post written by my friend Jenny Dewey. This project Jenny worked on interviewing various farmers throughout North Dakota is very interesting. Great job in providing feedback from both organic and conventional farmers Jenny.

What are your thought on GMO’s and Monsanto? Share them below!

[ j. l. d. ] Photograph Blog

Farmer Choices.jpg

There seems to be a consensus going around that farmers have no choice when it comes to the seed they choose to plant. Or if they do have a choice, large corporations like Monsanto force it upon them. And if anybody tries to voice their opinion and let the farmer’s themselves speak upon their choices, the individual suddenly becomes a pawn for Monsanto.

Okay so the above example may be a little extreme. Doesn’t mean I haven’t seen it happen again and again online. Why is it that because we are behind a computer it gives us the license to be disrespectful? Anyway, back to farmers. I was interested in what the farmers themselves have to say about their seed choices, how they choose the seed they do, and why do they CHOOSE to plant GMOs or maybe they don’t? So I asked several farmers some questions… And here’s what…

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3 thoughts on “Do Farmers Have Choices?

  1. I think that Monsanto is very large and strongly wants it customers, especially ones involved in their more intensive programs to use seed they have chosen, however I think that ultimately the decision comes down to the farmer on what seed they choose. Monsanto may have an incentive to sell seed but they also probably have a great deal of knowledge as to what works in certain areas as well.

    • Monsanto is bad period! They have bullied farmers and they are trying to control the seed market as well. They are powerful but need to be brought down. The food they are getting into the mainstream market is horrible of you as it’s generically modified organisms (GMO) which will not only get you sick but will kill you eventually. It’s no wonder why Africa, China, Europe and even Australia have forbidden GMO seeds and food into their country. People need to wake up and fight for our rights to non chemically processed foods. Otherwise, buy organic or grow your own food.

      • Lori, thanks for your comment. I’d like to address a few accusitions in your comment. I have to agree, Monsanto is a business that is trying to control the seed market, which is no different than DeKalb, Pioneer, ect. These are all seed companies that would like more than anything to control the seed market. This is really no different that Apple working so diligently in trying to control the smartphone business. Any profitable company in any industry has a goal of gaining the most market share. In fact Monsanto has every right to the seed they spent billions of dollars developing. This is why farmers are required to sign a contract upon the purchase of their seed stating they won’t clean it and replant it. Its no different with a company like Apple or Microsoft. If you went and copied one of their products exactly or used their name and tried to sell it they have every right to sue you on patent infringement.

        Monsanto does have quite a few genetically modified organisms on the market, and this is for good reason. These products are a direct result of consumer demand. Now before you stop reading hear me out.

        The basic laws of supply and demand come to play heavily in this situation. As Jenny’s article states, farmers have a choice in what they raise, but just like anything else, farming is a business and these farmers must keep up with market demand to make enough money to support their own families. As demand rises price also rises, and farmers must figure out what products to grow to meet this demand. This demand is essentially driven by the various companies that produce consumer products. So if we take this a step further, these food production companies that created the demand at the farmer level are also competing to meet a demand the is directly driven by the consumer. Consumers develop a demand for a product and a chain reactions starts from there and trickles all the way down to companies like Monsanto that supply seed to farmers. Here is a link that breaks this down even further. This is an article directly from someone with your same views on Monsanto as a company. I hope it helps (

        You said that GE crops are banned in a multitude of places. They are in fact not grown in Europe. In fact this ban has been in place for quite some time. In a recent Agriculture related trip to the EU, I was surprised to learn that they do in fact want to produce GM crops. The consumers are demanding it along with farmers. Why is this? Well the explanation given to me is this; when GMO’s were introduced the folks in the EU were under the impression that they were dangerous, in fact, they thought companies like Monsanto were conducting tests on US citizens with their GMO crops. Looking back they said the joke was on them, over 25-30 years later they realized that GMO’s aren’t in fact bad and wish they were on that boat. The problem now is the initial expense of implementing GMO products into their system. Their food costs are already substantially higher than ours and the implementation at this stage in the game would drive them much higher before cost reduction can occur.

        Africa does not have a current ban on GMO products and Australia’s bans are on a state by state basis. To date, there is no scientific evidence showing that GMO’s are dangerous to the health of any consumer.

        As an industry we’re faced with a population over 9 billion people by 2050. If every farmer started growing food organically not only would we not be able to feed the population of the world but food costs in the US would increase from our current state to consumers spending over 50% of their income on just food. Unfortunately, when we look at cities like NY with a population of about 8 million there is no where close to enough room for folks to grow their own food, to even support their own families.

        This is just some food for thought. Hope it clears some stuff up. I challenge you to take a look at the link I posted above.

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