Monday, February 17, 2014

Boycott Chipotle: My Farm Is Not Dangerous

Chipotle recently launched a new negative ad campaign called "Farmed and Dangerous" spewing propaganda about today's modern farm families. Its a "comedy" that really isn't funny, in fact its downright offensive and frankly really ignorant on their part. Its the moralistic view of food eliteism that somehow as a fast food chain, they're superior in ethics, taste, and quality.... Really?

Myth: Chipotle wants you to believe that your food is produced by "industrial agriculture"
© Furmano Foods
 Fact:  According to USDA "Ninety-seven percent of U.S. farms are family farms where the majority of the business is owned by the operator and individuals related to the operator."
Above are four of the "industrial" members of our family who run our family farm.
Somehow, Chipotle thinks is appropriate to insult my 84 year old father in law who worked
his whole life building our family farm. 


Myth: Chipotle wants you to believe that your food is produced by "factory farms".
 Fact: Our storage tanks for grain are about as "factory" as we get on our farm. Really, they're akin to tupperware (of sorts) for many bushels of grain. Our equipment may make us more efficient, but it certainly doesn't qualify us as a "factory".


Myth: Chipotle wants you to believe that what we do is top secret to keep consumers in the
dark about what we are "really" doing on our farm.
Fact: Our business is wide open, you can drive by any day of the week and
witness for yourself what we are doing. In fact, we'll give you a tour!

Myth: Chipotle is marketing itself based on its perceived sense of higher authority
and values in the food chain system.
 Fact: Chipotle is stomping on the American family farm like mine in order to further line its own pocket. 

My family farm is not dangerous.
We have an open door policy and welcome people to come for tours and learn how we farm. If you have a question about how your food is grown, ask a farmer, not a fast food restaurant chain.

My family is boycotting Chipotle. 
No one in my family will ever eat at Chipotle's again. 
#opendoors2openminds

61 comments:

  1. This farm family is with you, Jennie!

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  2. Thanks Liz, this is a ridiculous campaign for a fast food restaurant chain to pose as some moral authority on food.....!!!!!

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    1. Jennie- Is it any more ridiculous than spraying glyphosate on your food? Eating GMO is a choice- you can choose to if you like, but I have the right to choose not to- GO CHIPOTLE! After all- back in the 1940's doctors were pushing cigarettes for relaxation- no they are recognized as deadly. I wonder if we will determine the same thing with glyphosate?

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  3. This urban consumer is with you also. I told Chipotle that also.

    I am tired of activists and some 'organic food companies' and related ones like, Chipotle trying to tell our farmers how to farm. I wonder how they would like y'all telling them what to put on your menu.

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    1. But customers do tell companies like Chipotle what to put on their menu, by buying or not buying certain items. LOL. I'm not endorsing anybody making false statements about family farmers but you need to have stronger arguments. Menus are driven by one thing and one thing only, what consumers want so this argument is downright nonsense.

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    2. Todd,
      you need to remember that the statement, "the customer is always right" is not about ethics or truth. It is about an economic reality. Also, remember that rich world consumers are highly manipulated people by both marketing and activism. I honestly don't want the people who actually make all the effort and take all the risks to produce our food to be subject to direction from any of these directions. Nonsense has no nutritional value

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  4. Well said! If we had Chipotle's and Panera's where we live in Alberta, they'd be on the boycott list right there with A&W! Well said. I'm so tired of family farms being thrown under the bus for "big fast food"!

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  5. Great job on this Jennie! We're 100% behind you here in Iowa. What Chipotle is doing is disgraceful.

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  6. Chipotle is so high and mighty about being healthy. Go check out the sodium levels in their "healthy" food. Great article.

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    1. And fat and calories. To their credit they have a nutrition calculator on their website. But if you like their burritos don't use it! You will be absolutely appalled at the amount of calories, fat, and sodium in their food, whether "naturally-raised" or not.

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    2. Their argument about antibiotics, hormones and more has nothing to do with the fat and sodium content of the foods they offer to customers. They are not saying that their food is low calorie, they're simply saying they offer their consumers foods that are farmed in a more "natural" way, fewer "interventions" if you will. The low calorie, low fat argument is a completely separate topic, and not one they have ever attempted to make.

      That being said, anyone could make a healthy, low calorie or low fat option with the food offered at Chipotle, they just have to be smart about their choices. Which Chipotle encourages, consumers need to be smarter about where their food comes from and how it is treated, from farm...to their mouths. Too many of us have no idea what goes on. That's what they're trying to change.

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  7. I'm glad Chipotle isn't here in Hawaii yet. I'd have to wear my I love biotech shirt there. I hate the trend of demonizing of farmers bit. Starve a little and then get back to the farmer.

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  8. I'm not sure why it is so fashionable to bash the 1% of the hardest-working people out there. As a fan of farms and farming, I hope that farmers unite and take a strong stand against fear mongering around good food.

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    1. Thanks Kevin! I keep saying, I'm not sure why a taco joint believes it has some moral authority over family farms....

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  9. Do you use biotech or gmo seeds? What about your fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides? Perhaps your farm isn't "dangerous" but many are, as you well know. High levels of glyphosate and other dangerous chemicals as well as genetically-modified crops have been proven to cause harm not only to humans, but to our environment and to animals. I applaud Chipotle for taking a stand against industrial agribusiness. And I would like to know their reason for not choosing to buy from your farm.

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    1. Tami, thank you for your input, but I believe you may be misinformed. I would love to hear what your sources are for the claims of dangerous chemicals. All the literature I have found on Glyphosate have suggested that it has little to no health impact.

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    2. Tami,

      I am not sure if you have any background in farming or science. I will admit I don't, but I have done a lot of reading about the subject. One thing to keep in mind about farming and "agribusiness." The chemicals used on both organic and non-organic farms CAN BE harmful, any chemical introduced into the body CAN BE harmful. One thing that is not garnering much attention is the amount of chemicals used on each type of farm. The "organic" farms actually use 7-10 times more "natural" pesticides and herbicides than a non-organic farm. This major difference in quantity is alarming, the fact that they have to use so much more is not a good sign. The traditional farms due use pesticides and herbicides that have been tested for many many years with little KNOWN side effects. Researchers are trying to tie diseases and other medical issues to those chemicals, but the data is not conclusive. If you are still reading this, remember that FEAR drives people to purchases that they may not make otherwise. It is shameful to use fear to shutdown a business regardless of what type of business it is.

      Ben C

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    3. Tami,

      I understand your concern with the use of GMO's and chemicals. The reality is that GMO seeds allow us as farmers to use LESS chemicals, pesticides and commercial fertilizers to produce our crops. Farming today is much more environmentally friendly than in the past. As farmers, we are stewards of the land and want our farms to be there for generations to come. We all have families that we want to follow in our footsteps. Farmers are not careless about using chemicals on our crops - those chemicals are costly and that cuts into our bottom line. Therefore, our farms are a lot less "dangerous".

      If you have the opportunity to talk to farmers or go tour a local farm, you will find that most have an open door policy. We will gladly show you what we do on our farms and explain why we do what we do. We have nothing to hide.

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    4. The safety issue address recently in Mother Jones, previously known to be anti-GMO
      http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/02/inquiring-minds-steven-novella-gmo

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    5. Tami, glyphosate (aka Roundup) is widely used by urban consumers to control weeds. I just wish we had Roundup Ready Kentucky Bluegrass! GMO crops have been proven to be "as safe as" those developed through traditional plant breeding. Actually, the scientists I've met would say they are safer because the technology allows them to target specific desirable traits and avoid undesirable traits (e.g., those that may cause food allergies). There has actually never been evidence of harm to humans from consuming GMO plants. I consume GMOs on a daily basis (most any corn or soy based food product contains GMOs) with a high degree of confidence that I am not poisoning myself!

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    6. GMO will unlikely be a factor in the not to distant future with Monsanto pushing non-GMO anyway.
      http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2014/01/new-monsanto-vegetables/
      But I'm sure there will still be those who are against even natural bred resilience like that above, just because they basically don't believe in human intervention.

      Keep up the good work, I like Qdoba better anyway ;)

      SCIENCE!

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    7. Tami,
      Did you know glyphosate was tested on mice by topically applying glyphosate which was 7 times more concentrated than our most concentrated form, leaving it sit on the skin for 24 hours, and you know what, something tragic happened. The worst case was mild skin irritation, and they even killed the mice looking for cancer, there was none.

      Also, some really awesome researchers from across the world and here in the Midwest, note I mentioned really awesome like cancer researchers, doctors, ag researchers, cancer treatment specialist looked over 5,000 people who have applied glyphosate, and other herbicides, you know what they found, some of the have cancer! When compared to the millions of other people who dont apply the herbicides, it was not significantly different, like p-Value less than .01! Why is that? Cancer is GMO, Cancer modifies our genetics, our organisms. It is genetically modified organism. Going back to middle school biology everyone is made up of DNA, it replicates thousands of times a day, sometimes shit happens and your DNA is like "yup, my bad, totally forgot to connect that DNA, and wow what was I thinking matching those two pairs!"

      You yourself are genetically modified Tami, your parentd put together a strand each of their DNA, AND MADE YOU!! No one else has your DNAeven an identical twin will have genetic mutations because some replication didnt go quite right.

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    8. At our local Chipotle, they have had a sign up for about four months that due to supply shortages, they are using conventionally raised beef. What does that tell you.

      This was an insulting, ignorant and cheap shot campaign by Chipotle's. I've eaten my last there.

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  10. Keep up the great work. We gave up Chipolte a long time ago and I have never regretted my decision. I am glad that my family has the choice to use technology on our farm.

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    1. Absolutely, every farming operation is different, different soil types, different micro-environment (I know this too well as a grape grower seeing different disease pressure in vineyards only a couple miles apart), and different amounts of debt or transition between generations all of which plays into our ability to manage a family farm and keep it in the family!

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  11. Fact: According to USDA "Ninety-seven percent of U.S. farms are family farms where the majority of the business is owned by the operator and individuals related to the operator."

    OK, that is a nice statistic. I am a farmer and I know a lot of farmers. Many are under direct contract to big ag. Sure, they are the owners of the farm, but Tyson or a major dairy label tell them what to do and how to do it. Most of the grain farmers I know plant the grain they are told to plant, and if they do something different they can't sell it. "Family Owned Farm" is very often a fancy way of a major company letting someone else take all the risk while they call all the shots and make most of the profit. If you want to be a traditional family owned farm, and by that I mean a farm where the family makes all the decisions, grow things that you can market directly,

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    1. I work at a grain elevator in a small town and grew up on a family farm. The farmers in this area plant the types of crops that will sell here. In our area, that means corn and soybeans. As you get farther west, you will start to find more oats and wheat, simply due to growing conditions. These farmers are not being told what to plant by big corporations like Tyson, but are simply following good marketing strategies. In any industry, there will be a "middle man" of sorts, and that is what grain elevators are for farmers. It's not nearly as efficient or profitable for farmers to market directly to consumers, at least in my part of the country.

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    2. Thanks Raymond, I blogged about that myth here:
      http://thefoodiefarmer.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-myth-about-seed-choice.html

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    3. Raymond:

      You obviously know very little about farming. If a farmer is raising #2 yellow corn, nobody tells them what to plant. The farmer figures what will make him the most profit, and usually it is a GMO product. The thing is, usually the GMO is more profitable because it uses less pesticides. Anti-GMO activists are spreading falsehoods, half truths, and lies. People like you claim to know about agriculture, but you're likely an organic farming shill. Go spread that manure on a field where it will do some good.

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    4. I looked up your profile, an organic farmer just as I thought. You have an agenda just like those you accuse. You should stay on the side of truth and let your product sell itself.

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  12. Just to throw this out there, but just because companies like Monsanto make products does not mean farms should use them. The fact that traditional farming is becoming more chemically, and gm oriented is the problem. the fact that Chipolte uses GM chicken is just another point. GM foods are ruining North America, and farmers should be part of the millions that oppose.

    These small family farms who are directly supplying larger food providers are just fueling a company who poisons our citizens daily. Say no and sell your food locally. Stand up to big business who wants to offer you that extra money as a incentive for growing modified foods.

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    1. cj12 - all of our food is sold within 100 miles of our farm, except our cannery tomatoes which are 172 miles from our farm.

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    2. cj12 - By the year 2025 it is expected that the world population will have reached over 8 billion. The problem here is that the amount of arable land is not growing along with the population but rather shrinking due to urban sprawl. What does this mean? In 1965 1 Hectare of farm land fed 2 people. In 2025 1 Hectare will be required to FEED 5 PEOPLE! Couple that with recent water shortages and we have a recipe for disaster.

      Companies like Monsanto are working towards finding a solution to feeding the world. If you have an idea of how we can feed more people with less land and less water I'm sure they'd love to hear about it.

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  13. Thank you so much for posting this!
    I love how real and honest it is, and truly brings the truth to life. I am also from a family farm and appreciate you sharing your story.

    Also - I am currently going to school to become a dietitian and would love to be able to join my love of agriculture and dietetics - if you have any advice on ways I could better AG-vocate in the area of dietetics I would be all ears :)
    Please keep posting! Blessings!
    ~Kristen

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    1. Congrats Kristen, its an area of expertise and voice we can share within our profession as RDs that is not covered in the dietetics curriculum. When I was in college the class "food production" meant learning how to cook large volumes of food in a commercial kitchen, not how the food is actually produced/grown.

      I would just encourage you to jump in as an agvocate and share your personal experiences on the farm raising/producing food. We need more voices like yours!

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    2. Kristen- I'd recommend looking into industry groups and even state (& US) Departments of Agriculture for resources. From a produce perspective: FFVA (Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association), Western Growers Association, "Georgia Grown". FL's Ag in the Classroom (Google it!) has a good handbook introducing nutritious produce (from the farm) to kids. It's a great start for educating about farms and nutrition.

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  14. Replies
    1. We raise both conventional and biotech crops. Until 2011, we also had certified organic, all done simultaneously. Our standard operating procedures include cover crops/green manure, IPM, crop rotation, no till and conservation till on all our ground though folks not in ag generally think these are "organic" practices, they are not. Given that, we decertified because our biotech crops required less pesticide than our organic crops. We sprayed more often with our organic crops. Just because a chemical is "natural" doesnt make it "safe", it this were true, then smoking would be good for you because nicotine is an organic pesticide.

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    2. Tobacco is a very lame example. Carcinogen inhalation would never "be good for you". Smoking marijuana grown organically is not "good for you".
      And your biotech crops require less because the pesticide is built in, so that is also a poor example.
      As a beekeeper, I am against any use of mass pesticides.

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  15. The sad thing is I was boycotting Chipotle but than I got gift card to that place, I feel as though it would be fun to go and get a dialogue going about this and everything else and just see how long it take for me to get kicked out lol.

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  16. "Family Farm" is a very loose term nowadays. Regardless, Chipolte is starting an effort to purchase healthy all natural/organic food from traditional, hardworking farmers. Sitting in an air conditioned tractor, spraying poison on your crops and injecting drugs/hormones into your cows isn't something to be proud of.

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    1. Will, in actuality most of Chipotle's meat comes from the same meat packing facilities and feedyards that supply other fast food restaurants. The animals just may be segregated and never given hormones or antibiotics (aka "naturally-raised"). To pretend they come from small farmers who don't have tractors with air-conditioned cabs is deceptive marketing at best. Having said that, I fully support their desire to but from small, local, natural, organic or whatever kind of farmers they want to buy from. Just don't build your brand by tearing down other traditional, hard-working farmers who choose to use the latest technology to raise more food with fewer resources.

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    2. Well Chipolte is attempting to make a change, not saying that they haven't already done so. I wasn't saying that they already do purchase real food. It's hard to make a change though when you have people boycotting a revolutionary positive revision to the fast food industry. The same industry that directly correlates to the health decline and obesity epidemic of this country. I just don't understand the twisted ignorance, that's all. Especially when the same people say organic farmers generate the propaganda and agendas. LOL. We must be doing it for the money right?

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    3. Who do you think you are kidding Will? Organic farmers farm to make money just as conventional farmers farm to make money. Neither of us would be in business very long if we didn't.
      If Chipolte wants to make a change in the type of food they purchase to sell their customers, that is their right as a business to do so. They do not have a right to attack those of us who do not believe as they do and chose to farm in a conventional manner.
      What bothers people like you about conventional farmers and where did this idiotic notion come from that we should have to farm like our grandfathers did or we aren't "real, hardworking famers??? Is it the fact we have air conditioned equipment or that it has a motor or that it has several computers running and monitoring everything we do or maybe it is the fact we know how to use them???
      As to obesity in this country, people don't have to eat fast food and no one makes anyone eat too much food, unless you have a mother that makes you clean your plate. Then you can blame the obesity on her.

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  17. But the quote, "Ninety-seven percent of U.S. farms are family farms where the majority of the business is owned by the operator and individuals related to the operator" doesn't say that 97% of food is produced by family farms. Say there are 3 corporate farms and 97 family owned farms. The 3 corporate farms could produce 75% of the food while the 97 small family farms only produce 25% of the food. That statistic doesn't really carry any weight.

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    1. Its similar to the fact that the top 1% of Americans hold a third or more of the country's wealth.

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    2. Evan and Will,
      I suggest you go and meet actual farmers. I've had the opportunity over the years to sit down with farmers that you might consider to be "corporate" or some other negative image. We met at kitchen tables or at old desks in the corner of a machine shed. Once, on one of the bigger operations, there was a calf nearby under a heat lamp because otherwise it would have died.

      Farming is nothing at all like what many people have been convinced of by the "food movement." The image that Chipotle has been promoting for their own economic gain is nothing other than a huge lie.

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    3. 97.8% of US farms are family owned and operated responsible for 85% of agricultural productivity. The majority of food in the grocery store is grown or raised by family farms. http://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves/2014-march/family-farming-in-the-united-states.aspx#.Ux4Q3vldVzY

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  18. I come from farmers and ranchers. We know a scientist who testing on GMO and Round-up and other agri-products for large companies. I don't personally live on a farm, but I can tell you that my experience in talking with our PhD friend has only furthered my resolve to buy more organic, naturally grown and non-GMO foods. Not all farmers are irresponsible but many are. MANY are, according to our friend. I don't think that demonizing the farmers is the way to go, because honestly, that is only part of the food industry. And if you don't like Chipotle, one beauty of America's freedoms is that you can go somewhere else.

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  19. For those of you who would like to understand GMO a little better....read on:
    http://www.mnfarmliving.com/2014/01/okay-feed-family-gmos-2.html

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  20. Just stay educated people. If you think you know all the facts you probably have more to learn on both sides of this discussion so just educate yourselves. If you are unhappy with farm practices and the new methods of technology used by today's farmers then plant your own crops in your backyard and grow your own. One thing I am really struggling to understand is how for any other industry, technology and improvements to products is praised. Microwave to cook food faster, did we protest all open flame wood fire black kettle cooking...no? New invention the phone to make talking easier, are people upset and calling out Apple for ruining all organic conversations face to face? You see my point. The Ag industry is using technology to improve the way the industry functions to provide a growing population with more food and fuel. Growing 200 more bushels an acre on the same amount of land is hour upon hours of science, tested and approved, so that we can continue living! The problem with criticizing an industry like the Ag industry is that if we didn't operate and improve people around the world would starve to death. If you are the type that can afford to shop all organic and whatever else is on the list of this new shopping trend then good for you. Having options is not a bad thing and you have earned it, but for the dual income family that struggles to make ends meet each month and sneaks by on affordable food choices in the grocery isle, well they can't afford options they can afford to eat. If farmers went all organic not only would there be a decline in food production, the price of food available would skyrocket. Farmers live and eat off the land they work. GMOs are FDA tested and proven to be healthy. I just want people to realize one thing. Chipotle is a company with an agenda like all others to make money. Now imagine sitting in a advertising/marketing meeting with the team from Chipolte when sales are down and they need to get an idea together to drive up sales.
    EXAMPLE: "Well all natural and organic eating is a big trend...what if we switch to all grass fed meats and organic grains to get this new trendy target market? Good idea except those products are expensive. Well lets just scare the consumer into believing that they are going to die or blow up if they eat "dangerous industrial farm foods"! Great Idea! "

    They send out this new campaign and because Chipolte knows this is a info hungry and very uneducated generation of consumers BANG big success in the scare tactic method of advertising and a very hard blow to the farmers who work so hard, hardest workers I've ever seen, who supply the food and fuel to this country and mouths all around the world. Like I said at the beginning of this soapbox moment, just educate yourself and don't just believe it because you heard it or read it. Go get answers. Do as this blog suggests and go visit a family farm or "cooperate" farm and ask questions. Farmers unfortunately are busy people and often times can't take the time to stand up for themselves and they work they do. Watch this video and just hear it explained from a veteran farmer of 30+ years. Come visit his farm or farms like his.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50y2nJEBGIA&list=TLy93pBZHcZ3RmYBqMkTm-nwjdK3ROpB9s

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  21. 100% with you on creating awareness of the TRUE AG. What they are touting is BS. keep up the great work.

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  22. What is the definition of a family farm? A family farm is a farm that is run & owned by that Family. What is the definition of a factory Farm? Factory farm is a farm that is owned by either a corporation or a group of investors. On some of these factory farms they raise lots of animals in a confined space also know as cafos (concentrated animal feeding facilities). On these factory type farms the operation is set up to raise the animals factory type manner. They're goal is to get the animal to market as fast as possible with the least amount of inputs. If that means constricting the animals movement, feeding them a diet designed for the quickest weight gain.

    A good example a factory type farm would be in a modern day sow ( a sow is a mother pig) piglet barn. These facilities are designed for only one purpose, to breed the sows over and over again until their bodies are burnt out and can no longer have anymore piglets. Because of the close confinement and that fact these sows and piglets will never go outside they can get sick more often. Because they get sick more often antibiotics half to be administered and they don't just administer the antibiotics to only the sick pigs but to all pigs through the feed they eat.

    These sows will spend their entire short life's span in these cramped barns, never getting to go outside in the green grass and roaming around playing in the mud on a rainy day or never breathing in fresh clean air of the great outdoors.

    You all are probably thinking I'm one of them animal welfare activists, no I'm not. I'm just a simply organic dairy farmer and yes I use to be a conventional dairy farmer at one time but my views on animal welfare have changed a lot since becoming organic.

    Putting an animal like a pig into confined area where in some cases their movement is only restricted to a few feet or less is plain and simple nothing short of animal abuse. These facilities are not designed for the betterment of the pig but rather the owner(s) and what they feel is the most profitable way to raise the pigs is.

    I think this is the kind of industrial type AG that Chipotle is opposed to getting their products from.

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    1. Which goes to show there's no cookie cutter mold for "the best" farming system. We did the opposite of you which was to decertify from organic. It's also hard to judge those who farm differently because each family has different circumstances. I've seen plenty of confinements barns that have extensive space and very clean. Our outdoor hog operation had high mortality and extensive erosion from hogs rooting. We lost a lot of hogs in 100+ degree days and -0 days. Outdoors isn't always as "humane" as people "humanize" it to be. I personally like central heat and central air and know it's far more comfortable on the animals.

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    2. May I ask why you decided to decertify from organic? Right now us and some of our neighbors are in battle to try and stop a 6,000 sow & piglet barn from going up 3 quarters of mile down wind of our farm. This barn will be owned by a group of farmer investors that I have know idea who they are. A company called Pipestone LLC out of Pipestone Minnesota will manage the barn for the investors. This company is NOT trust worthy at all. They claim they are very neighborly but the truth is they tried to get this barn in as quickly as possible with out even informing everyone that was going to live around the barn. In our county we have a half mile mile set back zone with one neighbor's house being 1 foot over the half mile radius. I don't think its fair that anyone should half to live next to one of these stinky barns against their will. BELIVE me when I say we have been thorough a lot with these people who want to put up this barn near our farm.

      I still say farrowing crates are inhumane! There are ways to keep pigs cool in hot weather when there outside, it's called a mud hole. Pigs belong in the natural habit not in a cooped up confinement barn where they spend their entire lives indoors. Pigs are very intelligent creatures and they love to explore, so put them outside where they belong.

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    3. No one has any desire to stop Chipotles from trying to distinguish themselves in the market place. The objection is to the smear campaign that is nothing more than a character assassination of smart, ethical farmers who do nothing more than incorporate technology and advancements in understanding of animal nutrition and hhealth. As a kid, we raised hogs on the dirt. I recall the mud and manure up to their knees in spring and the frequent coughing from the dust kicked up by their feet. They had constant kKnicks from fighting at the feed bunk and were plagued by flies on those cuts. I hhad the opportunity to visit a modern hog confinement feeding operation about. Years ago. I was struck at how clean andactive, lean and healthy thesehogs were compared to how I remember. And yes our hogs laid in a mud hole, the same one where all the water with dissolved manure drained to.

      I remember my mother cooking pork beyond flavor due to concern withRich paras sites, at one time a very significant food borne health risk that has all but been eliminated from our pork supply. No, I do not concede the moral high ground to you or anyone else. I think it is more accurate to say there are tradeoffs with any production system. You're advocating a system that may have advantages in consumer perception ooqnimal welfare, but at a coat of higher mortality, more land and resources to produce the same unit of meat, and some food safety risk that most people are ignorant of today because age has been so successful in eliminating what were once common and familiar food risks.

      If you want your nastalga and are willing to pay for it, be my guest. That is not license to disparage family farmers who make sensible and ethical choices to utilize knowledge to provide safe food abundantly.

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    4. New family farm report from USDA shows 97.8% of US farms are family owned and operated responsible for 85% of agricultural productivity, ie: food, feed, fiber, & fuel. http://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves/2014-march/family-farming-in-the-united-states.aspx#.Ux4Q3vldVzY

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  23. As much as id love to get on board with "theres nothing wrong with gmo foods, lets all just make more money with them and feed more people", explain why it is that a lot of the world has banned their consumption and sale? Could it be that there is simply not enough genetic work done to respond to questions like "why are children in the us reaching puberty at a younger age than previous?", "what does the interaction of proteins produced from gmos , consumed by bovines, poultry, and humans, have on their offspring?". Im not a layman here- i grew up in farm country, im from farm people, butchered my fair share of chickens, and now am a farmer of the sea, longlining halibut and seineing salmon. We are fighting genetically modified fish because they will be farmed and as a result, many unintended negative side effects will happen. As well, the beneficial proteins that are available in wild salmon is not available in farmed fish. My experience has taught me that corporate america has feed all of us a "bigger, better, stronger, faster" pill, and its just a question of whether we want to swallow it or not.

    Thank you again to all the farmers here-its hard to make the farm note and support a family, and more power to you for being the backbone of this country for many years.

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  24. Keep up the good work American Farmer.

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