We are living in a world that is consumed by technology and because of this we have information at our fingertips. I’m guilty, as I’m sure all of you are, of reading something on the internet and immediately believing it’s true. Did America’s celebrity couple really break up? Is our favorite TV show truly being canceled? And there’s no way he is really getting voted off Survivor tonight, right? We’re all guilty of it but it’s time that we stop believing everything we read. It’s time for some hard conversations with real people, not just the ones you read about on the internet and see in magazines.

The next time you turn on the news or open your internet browser, think about the headlines and the image they are portraying. There is an incredible amount of negativity in the news today, so the challenge is determining what to believe and more importantly, who to believe and why I should believe. Think about it this way: When you go to the doctor and get diagnosed with an illness, you are provided with a prescription for medicine. More than likely you trust this doctor, the diagnosis and you continue on with your day, filling your prescription and eventually become healthy once again.  You believe your child’s teacher when it comes to educational techniques and your son’s football coach when it comes to developing plays for Friday night’s game. We trust the source. We believe the experts. So why not trust the expert and believe the source when it comes to your food and the dairy products you consume?

Next time you read something about milk production or animal care, remember to consider the source. On the left, you’ll see the truth; Rick Donahue, a NY dairy farmer showing pure, white, wholesome milk and on the right you’ll see an activist, Sonia Sae, posting a picture of what she believes is the milk that consumers are drinking. Farming is a business where the animals are the top priority and provided the utmost care every day of the year. So the next time you have questions about the milk you drink or the food on your table, consider the source of your information and ask a farmer!

Over the past few days I’ve seen some photos being shared across social media that, as an advocate for the agriculture industry and as a farmer’s daughter, frustrate me. These photos reflect misinformation including how the inside of an egg looks different when its labeled GMO versus organic, while another misinforms the viewer about what milk looks like when it comes out of the cow. The truth of the matter is that we believe what we see, what we read and what others say we should believe when in reality we should be going to the source. If you’re wondering what the difference is between a GMO egg and an organic egg is, ask a chicken farmer and you’ll learn that there is no such thing as a GMO egg. You’ll learn that eggs look different on the inside when they are cooked differently. When you’re wondering what milk looks like when it comes from a cow and how it’s changed between the farm and the store, ask a dairy farmer. You’ll quickly learn that milk is the most pure, wholesome product ever produced and does not include antibiotics or change between the farm and the store. Milk never touches human hands and is transported from the farm to the processor to the store within a matter of days.

 

Don’t just take my word for it, there are many hard-working farmers throughout New York State and beyond that are excited to share their story, explain the realities of farming and educate anyone willing to listen and learn about what happens on their farm and why they do what they do every day. Check out a recent article that Farm Babe, Michelle Miller, a farmer from Northeast Iowa wrote regarding other organizations that claim to have the best interest of animals in mind. Another great source for information is Dairy Carrie, a well-respected farmer who works alongside her husband and family in southern Wisconsin.

And if you want to stay local, ask us! While we can’t connect you with the latest trending reality star or football hero to ask them questions about life, we are fortunate to know farmers. We can connect you with a farmer and if you want, get you onto a local farm – just ask!

The reality is that farmers live in the same community as you. They shop at the same grocery store and eat at the same restaurants as everyone else in town. So before you share the photo or believe the article that shows information about food and how it was produced, ask yourself – What’s the source? Who do I believe? And when you have questions about the food you eat and the milk you drink, go to the source! Ask a farmer.