Lindsay Mitchell

Sep 19, 2013  |  Today's News

A group of moms from Chicago, IL will get a chance to see if Chipotle’s modern farming scare tactics are really true during their behind-the-scenes look at a modern grain and beef farm in Maple Park this Saturday.  More than 20 moms will travel to Mike and Lynn Martz’s family beef farm to learn more about Illinois cattle farms as well as have their questions about antibiotics, hormones, food labels, and more answered.

This farm tour and others like it are a part of the Illinois Farm Families program, a coalition of Illinois farmers represented by the Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Corn Marketing Board, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Pork Producers Association, and Illinois Soybean Association.

Last week, Chipotle Mexican Grill released an animated short film, “The Scarecrow” which feeds only the urban and suburban fear that their food is being produced by uncaring, money-hungry corporations.  You can read our comment on the film here.

Illinois Corn is interested in efforts to give urban and suburban non-farmers an opportunity to see for themselves the truth about today’s modern farms.  Interestingly enough, after touring a modern farm, mom’s sometimes still have doubts about genetically modified organisms or using hormones in livestock, but they undoubtedly believe that much of what the media is selling about conventional agriculture is drastically overstated.

After seeing Chipotle’s video, one mom that has participated in the farm tours said, “I was wondering how you would help friends who are watching this ad to understand how very inaccurate this is?  Have you seen this?  I don't know how you work against such negativity.  People have such strong feelings based on no facts.”

Yes, the lack of facts is the uphill battle.  But listening, answering questions, and providing opportunities for authenticity is what will change opinions … one non-farmer at a time.