Agricultural chemicals aren’t helping us to be better farmers or make more money. Rather they are harming our health and undermining the economic and agronomic viability of our farms.

As a kid growing up on a Montana wheat and cattle ranch in the 50s and 60s, I was raised farming with chemicals.

I never questioned our use of fertilizer and herbicide: these were new tools that my dad quickly adopted after a little experimentation, as he thought they could help us be better farmers and make more money.

I didn’t disagree: everyone was using them. We were told they were safe, effective and a good investment.

All through my youth on the farm and in agriculture classes from high school through my PhD in plant biochemistry at UC Davis, I heard nothing but positive things about the chemical industrial model that had taken hold in rural America.

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