As the COVID-19 pandemic still affects life around the world, people are showing more interest in the food supply and where their food comes than ever before. At GMO Answers, we are committed to answering people’s questions about food and have answered more than 2,000 questions on our website since our launch in 2013. One of the more common questions that we get is something along the lines of “Why do farmers choose to grow GMOs?”
Farmers in the United States and throughout the world are continuing to work, planting seeds, taking care of their animals, and tending to their fields during these times when so many of our lives are interrupted. With all the talk about heroes on the medical front lines, we believe that farmers deserve to be on the list of heroes, as they continue to grow the food that ends up on your grocery store shelves and eventually your homes.
After all, it takes true courage for farmers to plant a seed in the spring, watch the crop endure ever-challenging weather and pests in the summer, and hope it will yield a bountiful harvest in the fall.
It takes courage to drive a tractor or combine along a busy highway, with traffic zooming impatiently around you because it is the only way to get the crop from field to market.
It takes courage for a young farmer to ask the local bank for a loan to build a hog or cattle barn, not knowing whether an international trade war or an animal-disease outbreak will put them out of business.
And it takes courage for farmers to continually try to learn, improve and adopt new conservation or animal care practices, even though it might cost them in tight financial times and there’s no guarantee that the science (or public opinion) won’t change. (Thanks to Iowa Farm Bureau for these fantastic words!)
We've put together a list of resources compiled from the GMO Answers website that explains why farmers make the decisions they do, including why they choose to plant and grow genetically modified seeds.
Why are GMOs so important to farmers?
Are big companies forcing farmers to grow GMOs?
Sustainable Farming Practices You Didn’t Know are Used with GMO Crops
How GMOs Fit into The Farm Toolbox
What This Indiana Farmer Wishes Everyone Knew About His Job
Farmers and the Buying and Saving of Seeds, Genetically Modified or Not
Factory Farmer? No, I'm A Family Farmer
So when you see on the news that there are shortages of food at the grocery store or negative stories about farmers showing up in the media during these extremely trying times, please try to remember that there are many decisions that determine what a farmer does and doesn’t do. And to have to make these additional decisions while facing the same pressure of taking care of their family and worrying about the economy as you do is a daunting task. For these reasons, we consider farmers to be the quintessential essential employee and true heroes of these times. If you have further questions about GMOs, your food, agriculture, or farmers, please feel free to explore our website, GMO Answers.