WATT Poultry USA - February 2018 - 8
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Heuermann Lecture at the University
of Nebraska-Lincoln on January 9.
Same scenario, different
message and medium
Smith told of how, in 1938, people
frequently tuned into their radios, the
most common and immediate medium of the day. One infamous broadcast occurred when Orson Welles'
"War of the Worlds" was read over
the air. People literally feared for
their safety and even their lives when
they heard of a Martian invasion.
While it may seem hard to believe
that people believed such an outlandish thing back then, Smith said, a
similar thing is happening today.
However, taking the place of radio is
social media, and taking the place of
creating fear of Martian attacks is creating fear on how food is produced.
Critics are sending inaccurate messages, saying modern production agriculture technologies and techniques
are bad, such as genetically modified
organisms (GMOs). They also share
messages about how farm animals
are mistreated. Smith acknowledged
there are a few people who are not doing what is best for the animals or the
planet, but for the most part, farmers
want to take care of their land, their
animals and the people they help feed.
"We're not perfect, and consumers are cynical and gullible," said
Smith. "I think what we need to do
tonight and just stop and listen. Hear
that story about how bad modern agriculture is today, and how much we
should be concerned about the food
that we eat. That's the message that's
being broadcast today, and frankly,
more so than the message that Welles
broadcast 80 years ago now. If people
believed that story, it's going to cause
a lot more damage."
With a growing global population and the need to grow food for
more people with the same amount of
land and water, rejection of modern
agricultural technologies would make
feeding the world more difficult.
Smith said he knows production
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