Time Inc.
1271 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020 

Dear Editor,  

There’s no doubt that American society is smack in the middle of a transition. The way we raise crops and livestock on the family farm today is vastly different than the way my father did it a generation ago.  

Like every other American industry, we’ve become more efficient and effective. The production practices I use are ethically grounded, scientifically verified and economically viable. They allow me to maximize efficiency and meet the growing global demand for food, fuel and fiber.

Increasingly in recent years, I have noticed assumptions made on the part of groups and individuals who lack a clear idea about what I do for a living. That’s human nature. People tend to draw conclusions based, in part, on what they hear, read and see.  

That’s an enormous part of the societal transition we’re living through. In 2009, the overwhelming majority of Americans lack a direct, personal connection with family farming. Most Americans have no idea that family farmers like me are dedicated to producing food that is safe, abundant and affordable. I take great pride in knowing that consumers can go to their local grocery store or restaurant and purchase food that is safe and wholesome for their family. 

Clearly, the editors and reporters at Time magazine missed this point in writing and publishing the August 31 cover story.  

Or worse, knew this point existed and chose to ignore it.

To imply or bluntly state that those farmers and ranchers are using chemicals and manure to purposefully poison that land is dangerously ignorant and shows a total lack of understanding of the issue. It is troubling to think that Time magazine, of all media outlets, failed to do the kind of research we’ve grown to expect on the most basic level.  

I always considered Time magazine sort of a bellwether of American journalism. I knew when I picked up a copy, there would be certain points of view with which I, personally, would not agree, but on the main – I could expect fair, balanced coverage of issues and trends that impact my life.  

I no longer feel that way.  

Steve Baccus, president
Kansas Farm Bureau