People Are So Removed From Agriculture, It's Like I'm Talking To Them About Nuclear Physics
During a wedding last week, I explained how revolutionary Monsanto's work is to a group of St. Louisans.
Published on: November 16, 2011
I love chatting people up about my job. People are so far removed from the farm, I might as well be an astronaut. That’s how groundbreaking my ag information is.
For instance, last week I was a groomsman in a wedding. At the rehearsal dinner, we began exchanging the old “what do you do for a living” pleasantries. One thing led to another and pretty soon someone was talking about how Monsanto is apparently doing some pretty impressive things in St. Louis.
I asked if they’d seen the recent American Chopper episode. Many had, so I told them that Monsanto’s Robb Fraley is a very impressive figure in agriculture. I explained the Roundup Ready system, but I could tell it wasn’t sinking in. Finally, I said, the Roundup Ready system was such a breakthrough in agriculture, many say it’s on par with the tractor in terms of farming economics and efficiencies.
That got them going. They couldn’t believe St. Louis’ little old Monsanto came up with something so important. I went on to explain the genetic modifications and breeding advancements they’re making. “Impressive stuff,” someone commented. “They should really be telling us more about this.”
Good point, sort of. Monsanto has a great ad campaign in St. Louis that fosters a sense of community. But, how do you explain in a tiny little blurb how your company has revolutionized the way crops are grown in this country? Perhaps more importantly, that portion of the ad budget won’t translate into more revenue. Rather than advertising, I think it would make a great feature story in a newspaper (hint, hint, Post-Dispatch). Most St. Louisans probably understand very little as to what goes on at their Creve Coeur campus.
Later in the conversation, a lady from Boston commented that she thinks it’s terrific that I cover Illinois farm families, what with the corporations taking over farming and all. I’d gotten about two sentences into debunking that myth when our table was called for the buffet line. Oh well, at least six more people know more about Monsanto than it was the company that manufactured Agent Orange (at the behest of the Department of Defense).