LINDSBORG, KS (April 26, 2016) — In a recent TEDx event that focused on “Fueling Human Existence,” Covenanter and farmer Greg Peterson spoke on the need to employ different, sometimes controversial, farming techniques around the world.
Peterson is a fifth-generation family farmer who lives in Lindsborg, Kansas, where he attends the Evangelical Covenant Church. He and his brothers attracted international attention when they created a series of agricultural-themed parody videos that attracted tens of millions of hits around the world. Since then the Kansas State University graduate has spoken at conferences in 40 states and seven countries. He also has written extensively on farming issues.
TEDx “supports independent organizers who want to create a TED-like event in their own community,” according to its website. Kansas State University, known for its strong agricultural program, sponsored the event in February. Peterson’s talk was released on video earlier this month.
Diversity in practices among the estimated 550 million farms worldwide are critical to meeting the increasing demand for food as population growth continues to soar, he said.
Opinions about organic and conventional farming techniques tend to fall within three general categories, said Peterson.
- People should buy whatever is cheapest.
- People should purchase only organic because conventional farming is inherently toxic.
- Organic farming is a financial scam and fails to produce enough food.
In text that accompanies the posted video, Peterson said, “Technologies like GMOs (genetically modified organisms), pesticides, no-till/cover crops, precision farming, intensive livestock farming, and organic farming are all valuable tools that can help us solve some of the problems we have in the world today. However, they are often met with skepticism, criticism, and resistance both from people and from other farmers. Many of these criticisms are misguided.”
He added, “We do need to question new technology and keep people, government, and corporations in check, but we need to stop the fighting between farmers and misguided attacks on different types of farming practices.”
The video is posted on the Peterson Farm Blog.