Videos on the popular social media outlet TikTok are claiming that Nebraska farmers are being paid to destroy their crops. Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Steve Wellman says you shouldn’t believe everything you see on the internet.
“No, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture is not paying farmers to take out their corn, or any other crops and neither is the United States Department of Agriculture.”
Wellman says the videos on TikTok are damaging to consumer trust.
“Well, I’ve seen a couple of the videos that are out there on social media and quite honestly, there’s little to zero amount of truth in any of what I’ve seen. So, I don’t know why the information would be put out in that manner. I think it’s just a good reminder for us to not always believe what we see on social media, and farmers and ranchers have been working hard to build trusting relationships with consumers for quite some time and then videos of this type that contain scare tactics and false information are really counter to building that consumer competence and trust. So, in the end, it’s not productive for agriculture and it’s surely not productive for the consumers.”
Wellman has taken phone calls from other states like Iowa, North Dakota, and Illinois from farmers and consumers asking about the videos and why they’d be paying to remove food from the food supply.
He encourages farmers who are active on social media to engage with consumers to share the facts.
“Well, I would encourage that, I’m certainly not going to tell somebody to engage on social media if that’s not what they want to do. But if they have an inclination to be active on social media, I think it’s always proper to state true facts, and to contradict any falsehoods that they see on social media. I think that’s one of the things that agricultural producers can do to offset falsehoods while they’re in this case or in any other case on social media. So, yeah, please engage in that as best you can, as you’re willing. And we need the truth out there, I don’t believe that agriculture has anything to be ashamed of or how we conduct ourselves here in Nebraska or across the United States. We supply, high-quality top-notch food for us here in the U.S. and around the world. So, we do things right, we are very productive, and we certainly need to stand up for our product.”
Source: NAFB News Service