As O’Brien reports, she opened the night to questions, reporting a farmer’s daughter spoke hesitatingly at first about seed companies and global banks. O’Brien makes note that the farmers daughter’s spoke of her children eating corn that contained something called a “Bt toxin” and how her father had little choice when it came to growing corn now engineered to produce it. The farmers daughter spoke of marketing campaigns and salesmen, of industry pressure and of the lack of choice for farmers. She spoke of the power of seed and chemical companies and of persuasion that these industries had over her father and farmers like him.
O’Brien blogs that when the farmers daughter had spoken, she had done so with complete clarity about the banks, the big firms and the chemical companies. Reporting that as they all paused at the gravity of the issue, the enormity of the scope of the problem and the heartache that was so apparent in her message.
O’Brien thanked the farmers daughter for her commitment, for the commitment of her father and grandfather for having fed our families. However others spoke out, about soil quality, toxic chemicals and the rates of conditions like autism. And towards the end of what had proven to be a profoundly moving event, an audience member raised her hand and said, “You’ve inspired me to stick my neck out.” And O’Brien said “That was never my intent,” reflecting on the farmer’s daughter. Then without hesitating, O’Brien said, ”Stick your heart out instead.” See Robyn O’Brien’s Blog Here.