Baron: Farmers Need To Be Willing To Challenge Reporters, Media

The Ag community often feels like there are in the crosshairs of reporters and editors who don’t know what it’s like to produce the world’s food, fiber and fuels. But, Gerald Baron, Executive Director of Save Family Farming says the Ag community does not need to sit on the sidelines and watch these attacks take place.

At issue, is a reporter by the name of David Bacon.

Baron said Bacon is an activist who poses as a reporter, to get media outlets to publish his anti-farming works. Baron took issue with a recent article Bacon wrote regarding coronavirus in Washington’s farm worker community, saying the article was misleading when it came to COVID-19 numbers. He acknowledged that Yakima County has a high number of coronavirus cases, but the explanation why is not clear.

“We know for example, and some of the things that we’ve pointed out, is Yakima County is testing more than any other county.  Their testing per population is higher than anyone else.  Yes, they are probably going to find more confirmed cases and I would suspect the reason that they are testing more, is that farmers are asking for testing of their workers.”

Baron added there are multiple reasons why one region would report more confirmed COVID-19 cases than others.

Baron also took issue with photos used in the article among other things.

Baron said it’s incredibly important for farmers to watch out for activism like this. He pointed out these are typically the voices state leaders listen to when crating rules and policy that are harmful to workers and farmers.

“And that’s because their false information is just not being challenged, that’s one of the main reasons Save Family Farming came into existence.  And I know there are criticisms sometimes from within the farming community of what we do and how we go about it.  But we just want the farm community to understand that if you don’t counter these things there are no voices saying ‘wait a minute, this isn’t true what they’re saying’, then that will have a hugely long-term negative impact on the future of farming.”



If you have a story idea for the Washington Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail gvaagen@cherrycreekmedia.com

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