Using the “every farmer” phrase is a common mistake that I see agvocates make, and admitedly I’ve made the same mistake. Sometimes it doesn’t start with the words “every farmer” either. The most recent example I’ve witnessed was when someone said that farmers don’t plant corn on marginal land. While we could debate this issue all day, we really can’t back up the claim that every acre of corn in America is planted on “higher-than-marginal” land.
When facing an angry, anti-ag person, talking in absolutes can get you thrown into a corner really fast. People that like to jump on absolutes like to use them to discredit what you are saying. So if you say every farmer cares about the land, they may ask you about a random article in Times that discredits your statement. They just want to catch you in a “lie” so they can use it to their advantage. It’s hard because as a community of agvocates, we like to think everyone is upholding their end of the bargain. They are supposed to be doing everything the right way. They are not supposed to do the things that get agriculture in trouble on YouTube, but yet there are farmers out there that do. We need to realize that those farmers exist and then move on.
So, next time you want to say “every farmer…”, make sure you stop and think. You need to really think about the statement you are going to make because it may come back to bite you later.