Midwest “FarmBabe” visits eastern Indiana for Shelby County Ag Banquet

March 9, 2018

Abbey Whitaker, Coordinator of Communications

Every farmer and consumer in America has a varying opinion when it comes to food; most of the time, though, they are rather contrary to each other. On the one hand, we have those who fully support  genetic engineering and modifying crops for increasing yields per acre.  The opposing hand claims inducing chemicals into crops increases herbicide use, and therefore adds more chemically-drenched products to our plates.

No matter what your view may be, the common denominator stays the same: we all care about what we put in our bodies.

That is why modern farmer and social media guru Michelle Miller, a.k.a. the “Farm Babe,” advocates strongly for there to be wide-spread knowledge on this issue. Traveling across the country for various speaking events to inform on this issue, Miller has learned to take the “fear” out of “fear-based messaging.”

Although she may be pro-GMO [Genetically Modified Organism], she stresses that this issue needs to be laid out with transparency. Farmers should be transparent about what they are doing and why they are doing it. This open way-of-thinking can help promote more knowledge on the truth of GMO’s without causing the consumer to raise questions simply due to not understanding.

This is exactly the message Miller propagated at the Shelby County Ag Banquet on March 7 at the Indiana Grand Racing & Casino.

I had a chance to not only sit in on her key-note speech during the event, but also visit with her and get a more personal vibe of her true feelings on the issue. Throughout our conversation, she and I were able to discuss heavily how there is a disconnect between consumers and farmers. Consumers who tend to be caught up with these so-called health “trends” of today end up falling victim of this disconnect and have no knowledge-base of GMO verses non-GMO.

I agreed with her and stated myself that sometimes people see GMO’s as corporate evils, in opposition to seeing them as genetic engineering tools that do great things for farmers.

During the key-note speech, Miller referred to her younger self as a self-proclaimed “cityiot,” or one who had no prior knowledge of Agriculture, trusting only the current trends of social media.

“So if you would be asking my college self how on Earth I’d be raising sheep in rural Iowa, my college self would have definitely laughed at you,” Michelle Miller remarked. “But life always takes it’s interesting twists and turns, right?”

She went on to discuss how most people who are advising consumers to choose non-GMO, are the non-GMO based companies. They purposely induce the fear of genetic engineering into their clients.

“You can take a chemical, which is what any food is made of, and make it sound scary,” Miller commented. 

There is no question about it, Miller chooses to side with GMO’s; however, she is not completely biased on this controversy. One point she brought up in her speech is the need for all types of farming. This includes organic and non-organic. As history has shown, people like variety and the option to choose. 

Genetic engineering has not only helped produce more yields and crops, but also soil health and nutrient retention levels.

In my own separate conclusion, I realized one vital thing: question everything. Miller called her younger self a ‘cityiot,’ and I strongly relate to that as I too was once a fear-based consumer, not really knowing what I was buying or where it was coming from. When researching GMO’s or non-GMO’s, my advice to all you out there is to get a second source. If something does not sound right, question it. The answers you find just might define how you view things in the future.

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You can read more about the “Farm Babe” by clicking here.

Check her out on Twitter and Facebook, as well.