Each winter My Farmer, his dad and brother spend hours crunching numbers, reading reports, and meeting with seed dealers to determine what seed to purchase for the coming year. Will they stick with the same hybrids or try new genetics? Will the long-term forecasts – weather and markets – indicate the need for a different variety? So much to consider for the next spring planting, yet what most farmers may not think of is the origin of the science behind their seed.
Much of the genetics in our seed originate in Hawaii. The companies that have farms on the islands include Monsanto, Dow AgroScience, Syngenta, Pioneer and BASF. They aren’t growing the seed for farmers to plant. That happens here on the mainland or in Central and South America. They are researching, using that amazingly serene warm beautiful growing climate to figure out the next best thing in plant science.
And that is an issue for a very vocal group of Hawaiian residents. One group that caught our attention (grimace) was Babes Against Biotech which follow similar tactics to PETA’s Lettuce Models who have gained a few minutes of fame out of this cow raffle scandal. Read here if you need to know more.
Although the Babes flashed some signs and accused our group of being bought off by Monsanto (of course, who else?), I thought maybe via social media I could reach out and connect. By the time I made it to their facebook page, they had already blocked a fellow farmer, calling him a troll and other not nice names.
One early Hawaii morning, My Farmer and I caught the local news and heard Miss April, I think, (from the Babes’ swimsuit calendar) asking for volunteers for their next anti-gmo march. A few days after we arrived home this article was shared “Hawaii Fight Over GMO Labeling Turns Ugly” again quoting a Miss something. Although I am not a practicing journalist, I did study under the strict law of Dr. Karon Speckman at Truman State University. I can see her eyes rolling down the hall at the thought of using the Babes as credible sources in a news story.
What a minute who am I kidding? ABC’s Good Morning America just followed a story of the rising tensions between North and South Korea with a bit on Justin Bieber losing his temper. Such is the state of “news” these days.
Anyway, here’s my point. I, for one, am pleased that the seeds found in our fields have been researched in these United States by successful companies that choose to operate in this country, pay taxes, and employ fellow Americans in an otherwise not so friendly, sometimes downright dangerous business climate. They could go elsewhere giving the jobs, the money and the innovations to another country. But they stay giving me one more chance to buy American-made.