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Nebraska Farm Bureau challenges Chipotle 'Scarecrow' marketing campaignTell North Platte what you think

The Nebraska Farm Bureau is challenging the images and insinuations of a new advertising campaign initiated by Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.

The Chipotle video is a cartoonish caricature of corporate food systems and advises people to "cultivate a better world."

In the video, a disillusioned scarecrow worker leave the "Crow Foods" corporation and produces his own peppers, corn and other foods, selling them from the back of his pickup in an industrial city.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau says the advertising campaign plays fast and loose with the facts about how food is raised and more importantly, the ethics and morals of the farmers and livestock growers involved.

Nebraska Farm Bureau’s board of directors sent a letter to Chipotle’s chairman and co-CEO, expressing disappointment and concerns about the message the campaign sends.

“The Scarecrow campaign perpetuates two of the greatest fallacies of modern food production," Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson said.

• The myth of the American ‘factory farm.’

• That people involved in raising food care only about profit and do so at the expense of their animals and our natural resources.

The Scarecrow campaign (a video and video game) paints a picture of a society where food is raised and manufactured by a faceless corporate system, using scarecrows as a mindless labor force to cover the harsh treatment of farm animals behind closed doors.

Farm Bureau leaders call the campaign “narrow minded in scope” and an “oversimplification of food issues” that go well beyond serving Chipotle customers.

“There are very real issues of hunger, food insecurity and challenges of feeding a growing population," Nelson said. “The Chipotle campaign and video ignores these issues and, in the process, disparages farm and ranch families who care very much about the well-being of their fellow man, the animals in their care and the land and natural resources entrusted to them.”

Farm Bureau leaders called on Chipotle to engage in dialogue to discuss broader food issues.

“Chipotle’s motto is ‘Food with Integrity.’ Farm Bureau and its members share in that belief, but it is clear there are differences of opinion in how that is defined," Nelson said. "We are open and willing to start a dialogue about what that truly means for all people who remain in need of the crops and livestock Farm Bureau members raise."

The Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, state-wide organization that supports farm and ranch families through a variety of educational, service and advocacy efforts. More than 56,000 Nebraska families are members.

For more information about Nebraska Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit nefb.org.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 10/14/2013
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