Science by the Slice

Farm Babe: Science Communication Part 2

October 27, 2021 UF/IFAS PIE Center Season 1
Science by the Slice
Farm Babe: Science Communication Part 2
Show Notes Transcript

In part two of our series on science communication, hear from a social media influencer who went from a career in fashion in Beverly Hills to science communicator on the topic of farming. Michelle Miller, also known as Farm Babe, will share how she uses her social media platform to educate the public about issues related to science, agriculture, and food.

You can follow Michelle on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as her website,

Are you an educator? The Science by the Slice podcast aims to inform diverse audiences about important issues in agriculture, natural resources and public health. Check out our learning guides that were created as an educational tool to facilitate discussions related to the topics presented in podcast episodes. Download the learning guides here:

Music "Kitty In The Window" by Podington Bear 
Available at Under CC BY license Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0),

Music "Discovery" by Jon Luc Hefferman 
Available at Under CC BY license Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0),

The views, information, or opinions expressed by guest speakers on Science by the Slice are solely those of the individuals and do not necessarily represent those of the UF/IFAS Center for Public Issues Education or the University of Florida.

Ricky Telg 00:04
This is Science by the Slice, a podcast from the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Center for Public Issues Education. In this podcast, experts discuss the science of issues affecting our daily lives, reveal the motivations behind the decisions people make, and ultimately provide insight to solutions for our lives.

Phillip Stokes 00:36
Hello, and welcome back to Science by the Slice for Episode Two in our science communication series. I'm Phillip Stokes, and Episode One you heard from Dr. Lisa Lundy, who describes science communication from a researcher’s perspective. And in this episode, you'll hear from someone who is actively communicating science information to the public, specifically educating consumers about how their food is produced. Michelle Miller or farm babe, as she's better known, is an educator, influencer mythbuster, keynote speaker, and one of the biggest voices on food and agriculture on social media today. Michelle believes that consumers are bombarded with all kinds of misinformation about food, and she works to bring real unbiased education and facts from real farmers and leading industry experts to the public. And I was fortunate enough to sit down with Michelle and have a conversation about how she reaches her audience and hence, how she communicates science. Alright, well Michelle Miller, thank you so much for being here for being on the Science by the Slice podcast and for joining us here on the campus of the University of Florida. So glad to have you here.

Michelle Miller

Thanks for having me.

Phillip Stokes

So, just to kind of start off I thought it'd be great if you could just introduce yourself tell us a little bit about yourself. You of course are known as farm babe or maybe better known as farm babe. So how did you become farm babe? Right? How did you become a speaker educator influencer on agriculture and farming?

Michelle Miller 02:19

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Yeah, so I actually had more of a big city girl background. So I grew up I was a 4H kid growing up. Okay, so I was involved in agriculture, and moved to Los Angeles for college. And throughout my time through my 20s living in Los Angeles and Chicago, I had really become victim to pretty much every food labeling myth under the sun. And a lot of misinformation about agriculture was kind of what I had believed. And I ended up dating a farmer in Iowa for about seven or eight years. And I started the Farm Babe back in 2014, when I was on the farm because he was growing GMOs and had cattle feedlots and was using, you know, hormones and antibiotics and some of these things that are not always very well understood by the public. I was learning that basically, everything I thought I knew was wrong. And so I really wanted to start a blog just to talk about what we're doing on the farm and kind of debunk a lot of the myths that I was believing in. And so, the name farm babe was a spin-off of this gal called the food babe, I don't know if you've ever heard of her. She very famously, unfortunately famously spoke here at UF years ago and was spreading a ton of misinformation. And so that's kind of what put people like myself on the map, or Kevin Folta, Professor here at UF kind of put us on the map for debunking this. And so she's putting out information saying GMOs are just drenched in toxic chemicals. And everything is poison unless you're buying her organic products. And so the farm babe was born. And over that time, I guess I've been doing this over six years now. But it's turned into being a public speaker, online influencer, writer, columnist for ag daily, for acreage life magazine. And it's really just grown from there.

Phillip Stokes 03:55
I mean, that's fantastic. So you said about six years you've been doing this. And of course, when you started, you know, you probably didn't have quite the following you do now. You know, each month you reach about 2 to 3 million people. 200,000 followers. So how did you grow those numbers? How did you kind of get from that starting point to here?

Michelle Miller 04:17
Yes. So I had written a post at the very beginning about how much herbicide we were using on our GMO crops in Iowa and people were always saying, oh, GMOs are drenched in chemicals. And you know, as the farm babe tried to debunk the food babe myths. I had done a post talking about how we were spraying Roundup, right about one day a year one to two days a year at the very beginning of the growing season. And why were we doing that? What was the dose, 22 ounces per acre, you're thinking that's about to pop cans on an area of land the size of a football field, right? So I had this post I only had about 100 followers at the time, but it went so viral it reached 14 million people. And so from there, really kind of what put me on the map and then I made a A niche, I guess out of mythbusting is really what I'm passionate about as debunking a lot of the fear behind science. And so I've really just kind of developed a following. I use a lot of different Facebook groups and networking and learning from different experts. I share posts from other pages that I like. And then in turn, they share my pages, and you kind of build this little online community of people, you know, and trust their groups, that you work together to promote each other. So

Phillip Stokes 05:24
And, and just like you said, myth busting is kind of one of the things you do not the only thing but you know, it's one of the things that you kind of you feel that's important. So why is in our current day and age, why is that so important?

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Michelle Miller 05:37
Well, we've got to make sure that the correct policies are in place, we've got to make sure that everybody understands agriculture, everyone votes, and so we have to make sure that we're protecting farms for the for the next generation, we've got a lot of issues we have to deal with in terms of that, you know, it's not easy, right? I mean, for farmers to be sustainable, they have to be profitable, they have to have proper regulations, and we need more, you know, butchers and, you know, places to take livestock when they're market ready. I mean, just stuff like that. But also just public perception, you know, if people are led to believe these myths about, you know, GMOs destroying the planet, or livestock destroying the planet, or whatever it is, that's not true. That can have a real negative impact on not only agriculture, but the world. And we have to think about food as a global industry, right? People say, Oh, well, I want to buy local. Buying local Amazing. Until you live in Minnesota and want a chocolate covered banana in January. Where do you get all that? We all drink coffee? Where does it come from, but there's no anti coffee lobby to scare us about it. So just really raising awareness on where the misinformation is coming from, people's agendas, and making sure that science gets a bigger voice in the discussion.

Phillip Stokes 06:51
Do you think there's a lot of room for people to learn about food and where it comes from? Do you think a lot of it just comes from lack of knowledge and maybe lack of engagement? Whether I don't know, whether they need to be engaged or not. I mean, I guess that's up to that's subjective.

Michelle Miller 07:07
Yeah, you know, that's the interesting thing is that people have never been more far removed yet more interested in learning where their food comes from, you know, agritourism is incredible. We find people love the farmer's market. Everybody wants to feel a connection to where their food comes from. And they just don't always get that opportunity. So it's up to us as agriculturalists to continue to tell that story and generate that excitement. Because if people are only hearing one side of the story, which is like, you know, mainstream media that tries to blow stuff out of proportion, or I hate to say it, but a lot of these organic, non-GMO food corporations are the ones spreading fear and misinformation against, you know, GMOs or conventional AG. And they don't always hear the other side of it. And so we've got to be able to make science cool. Make Science cool again, right. But how do we do that? I mean, social media gives us that opportunity, right? So if we're able to create little snippets, or memes or infographics or something silly or funny, that allows us to gather more followers and more people interested in it, then that's amazing. That's the goal. Right?

Phillip Stokes 08:10
Like you said, given that there is mainstream media, there's so many different types of media, social media, of course, you know, that's a relatively new way to share information. And there are a lot of different points of views. I mean, where do you come in? I guess, and all of that. Yeah, I guess just Where does your platform and kind of where do you think you fit in with other types of media out there?

Michelle Miller 08:33

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I think that's the beauty of a lot of bloggers and influencers is that when you build a following you build trust. And my goal is, you know, yes, do I talk about science and everything, but I want people to know me. And that's the beauty of social media as well is when you have a platform, people get to know you they see. I mean, I'm thinking of like 20 other people off the top of my head that I follow. Why do I follow them, because I see their homes, their children, their pets, their husbands, whoever it is that you feel connected to them as a person. And so you just want to follow them. Because it's just like anything like what TV shows do we watch? And why? You know, do they make you laugh? Do they make you cry? Do they feel something? And so when you're trying to have a voice in the discussion, it's important to keep it real, right? If it's too stiff, and stale and boring, you're not really going to generate a following, but people want to hear where their food comes from. And so when you're a farmer, and all of a sudden, you've got something cool. You know, like just a couple examples. You know, you've got Peterson farm brothers, which do amazing, hilarious YouTube videos, on music video farm parodies, and they get hundreds of millions of views. But that's cool, because it's like, funny, it's mainstream media. It's gotten them on the today's show and all these awesome platforms to tell the story of agriculture. So everybody can do that. So that's a lot of what I do throughout my public speaking is, is encouraging and offering inspiration, motivation and tips on how other people in our industry can also add to that discussion and make it fun, you know?

Phillip Stokes 10:03
Yeah. I like that I like, why do you follow X? Right? Why do you watch these TV shows? What is it about that? And so you've been able to make those connections? Are there any? And it's fine? If not, but are there any stories you can think of where you've, you've really been able to engage with your audience, any examples of, you know, things you've kind of spoken on, that you feel have really made a connection? And why do you think that might have done that?

Michelle Miller 10:28
Oh, yes, I've got a lot of them. But most notably, and recently was Burger King. I don't know if you'd heard about this. I didn't see that. Yeah. So Burger King released a horrible ad last summer that really painted livestock farming in a negative light. And boy, were they getting a lot of backlash. And I had been kind of screenshotting it and putting together my own posts like just talking about, like, how messed up it was that Burger King did this ad. That was, you know, basically, they had kids and gas masks, oh, these little kids and gas masks, basically saying like polar ice caps are melting because of cow farts. And for those of us in agriculture, the people that do the research, you know, 97% of methane comes from their mouths, not the rears. And so you know, they're doing this a big thing on cow farts. And it was so incorrect on so many levels. And then they tried to say, well, we're going to feed lemongrass to cattle, because that could reduce methane emissions by up to a third. But some of the research wasn't yet published. It was inconclusive. And so in Burger King, in hindsight, I guess they didn't really realize that people would fact check. But their backlash was insane. Well, I put together a tweet, and I looked up their global chief marketing officer Fernando so I just sent him a tweet explaining why we found the ad so offensive. Well, Burger King reached out to me and I actually had a zoom call with them and with Fernando and I said look like reducing methane is amazing farmers are doing sustainability and care more about the planet long before it was cool and trending and marketing, right? Like, come on out, I will show you. And I'll be darned they took me up on it. So Burger King came out with Fernando with Gustavo was the guy who like did the ad. And I put together a team of experts, I

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was on the farm in Iowa at the time I put them to work, you know, got them to feed cattle to come to our large scale cattle feedlot, I took them to a dairy farm with a methane digester to just talk about all these experts and what farmers are doing to protect the planet, talked about our no till and cover crops and what we were doing on in our fields and in all these great things. And Burger King came out with a camera crew and actually put out a new ad that highlighted farmers. So that's probably one of my biggest claims to fame recently, I guess is just to help people understand that sometimes it takes something as simple as a tweet to move the needle on a corporation as large as Burger King. And you know, it's things like that, where you realize that we have to be more proactive instead of reactive and build these relationships. When I learned that the Global Chief Marketing Officer of Burger King had never really been to a cattle feedlot before. I was like, hold up like, that is insane. So we've got to be putting forth these communication efforts to bridge the gap and help them learn what it is we do before it's too late.

Phillip Stokes 13:09
Yeah, in kind of on that same line, you know, we've talked a little bit about, there does seem to be almost like polar ins when it comes to topic like agriculture. And I would say unfortunately, so Right. But I guess I want to ask you, you know, what the things that you post, do you ever get feedback from those that may not agree with your messages? And maybe how do you respond to that if you receive those?

Michelle Miller 13:36
So it's very rare that I do, I think, I think 98% of people are probably pretty cool. And the thing is, is that once you build a following, and you do get a little pushback once in a while your followers are right there to like, come to your defense. So that's what's kind of nice about it is building that community of trust. But I think it's pretty rare. I mean, there was one time that I got attacked by vegan animal rights activist pretty bad. And I was actually flying that day. It was like the beginning of Veg-anuary. I was on my friend's pig farm. Yeah, I was holding a piglet and talking about all the care that goes into making bacon and they the vegans. It got shared in over 600 animal rights Facebook groups, and I had 9000 comments before I was forced to delete the post, but they were wishing cancer upon me and death upon me, creating just awful images, murderer, comparing me to Hitler. I mean, I deleted the post because I just couldn't take it anymore. But then I was upset because I was like, I don't want them to win. So I had screenshot all the nasty and I wrote an article about it and just put them on blast and showed. I'm like it these are their tactics for how they go about getting people to join their cause. I would never want to be a part of their cause. And so I wanted to highlight their extremism. And then I did a I donated to charity. I said for every negative comment I received from a vegan animal rights activist I would personally donate a dollar to a charity that directly benefit the animal agriculture industry. And boy that shut them up. And I capped it at $1,000. Right? Because I didn't want him leaving, like these crazy comments was making me go broke. But, you know, I donated to, you know, protect the harvest animal agriculture Alliance national animal interest Alliance every time somebody would comment. That was a negative comment, I'd say thank you. $1 has been donated to the animal agriculture Alliance in your honor. That shut them right up. So it was I started this hashtag called hashtag donate the hate. And it was a way to, really, it was a way to turn a negative into a positive and realize that your efforts are going to backfire to their community. And that nobody, nobody's going to buy into your cause if you're a total Crazy jerk, you know what I mean? So yeah, that was, that was the

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one and only time that anything really extreme like that happened. But it was fun to take it to a level of turning the negative into the positive. But generally speaking, it's done a really great experience overall.

Phillip Stokes 15:59
Thinking about how to reach people and how to spread, you know, different messages, and communicate and educate. We know that people are coming from different starting point, places, right? Everyone grew up in a different culture with different families, they have a different perception of agriculture or farming, when you frame messages when you're saying things. Do you think about that? When you're you're kind of writing things that not everyone knows what a farm looks like? And yeah, I don't know, like, how do you approach those messages?

Michelle Miller 16:33
100% some of my biggest breakthrough moments with people are when you put yourself in their shoes, right? So actually, this happened just the other day this, this woman was going off on me about how terrible GMOs were. And oh, she was passionate, she was fiery. Well, I can be equally passionate and fiery. However, to get her to break through to her, I had to tell her look like, I used to be just like you. I was the city girl. I was terrified of GMOs and pesticides, like I'm right there with you. But here's what I've learned. Like a lot of people believe that organic doesn't use pesticides, but they do. And so if they're trying to say like, well, you need to pay three times more for organic and non GMO because they don't use chemicals. That is just a false statement. So it's one of the things but I almost kind of turn it back to some of these people are borderline conspiracy theorists. Right? So then you can, you can always come back and say, Well, that's what big food wants you to believe. Right? You're like, Do you really think food companies are telling you the truth when they're trying to charge you three times more money for food, of course, organic uses pesticides, right. And I don't want to say that to try to put down organics or anything like that, right. Like, it all depends on region, pest pressure, best management practices, like what's going on, there's a lot of things that farmers can do to mitigate pesticides in both organic and conventional systems, they all have their place. But what I have a problem with is when people are have this terrible fear of, of thinking that they're genuinely going to like poison themselves or their family, or they're genuinely like doing this catastrophic thing, because they're, they don't hear the science. So a lot of times you have to approach people with empathy. And since I did have that big city background, it's it is easy for me to generalize and come to those conclusions. Look, I get it, we all care about the planet, I don't, I don't want to eat food that that could be bad as well. We all care about the planet. So this is why, you know, I believe in biotech or this is why I believe in organics, or whatever it is, as long as it leads to the science and the facts in you're not hurting other people. There is there's a lot of conversations to be had, as long as we find the common ground and that trusted morals, values, ethics.

Phillip Stokes 18:41
I like that, like you said, putting yourself in other people's shoes, because that's probably going to be the only way you're going to reach them and connect to people, you know, regardless of what you're, you're about, right?

Michelle Miller 18:51

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Really listen to people, right and say, I completely understand like, I'm right there with you. Right. So it's, it's not just about being argumentative and being like, well, you're just stupid, you know? And I think a lot of times farmers have to remember you know, they're kind of disconnected from the disconnect. Right? So when everybody's ripping on Burger King, because they're spreading misinformation. They asked him well, why is what is it about Michelle the farm babe, like of all the people that had backlash? Why did you choose to talk to her and he said, it's because I seemed reasonable. I seemed very rational. And it wasn't a canceled culture as much as it was just like really disappointed to see this, farmers care very much. I'd really love to have a conversation with you. Now you're not going to win everybody over, especially with Twitter when you're limited on characters. But you're sure can try and sometimes it makes a difference. Sometimes you can change the perspective of Burger King, sometimes you have the food babe ban you. By the way, there's 10,000 people in the banned by food day in Facebook groups. There's some people that just want to silence and they don't care about the facts. And you know, we're not going to win anybody over there's always going to be one person of extremists but really over 90% of people are in the movable middle. But we have to talk to people how we want to be to, right, we all like to laugh. We all like to have a good time. We all like to have a beer once in a while, you know, for the most part. And so just remember that we're all real, like, we're just real people. And rather than keeping stuff really stiff, you know, go ahead and make a funny parody music video, go ahead and do a silly meme. Go ahead and tell a funny story about what happened on the farm that day, just be yourself. And don't be afraid to let loose a little bit and really have fun with it. You know,

Phillip Stokes 20:23
You know, one thing I'm thinking of, you know, talking about once again, that idea that different people have different understandings of agriculture, and plenty of people are unengaged. And like I said, before, it's not necessarily a bad thing. You know, there are plenty of people that are really good at what they do, you know, doctors, lawyers, accountants, whatever, we can go down the list that have, you know, very little to do with food or farming, you know, they work hard at their job, and then they go home, they go to the store, they pick up their food. Yeah, it's maybe not the role of everyone to know all of these things. And so maybe that's why it's important for there to be people in the field, like literally and figuratively, in the field, right, spreading that word to kind of have it more of an unbiased opinion. So I guess just what do you think would be what do you think is the role of agricultural communicators? Today? In an info era, if you will?

Michelle Miller 21:17
Oh, yeah. I mean, the opportunity is just incredible. You know, and that's the beauty of it is back in the day, you know, nobody would hear from us in our small towns. But now with the power of social media, we can we can reach millions of people, we can move mountains, we can do it together, and they play a huge role. And in a day where most people don't know much about where their food comes from, they want to learn they have an incredible opportunity to connect with others. You know, there's also a food science babe who is it's funny that we're all like these spin offs, right? There's like the sigh babe, there's the food babe, there's all these people that that really kind of debunked this misinformation. But, you know, the food science vape has an incredible platform where she talks about food additives and ingredients and the science behind you know, what is Caribbean and why it's why is it in our food. And she makes the science interesting by doing like hilarious Tik Tok videos and all this stuff. And, you

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know, she's got hundreds of 1000s of followers as well. But you know, you've got people tackling food science, you've got somebody like Derrick Josie, that TDF honest farmer who has his niches videos with his cows. And there's, there's so many different avenues that people can do it, but through our through our combined efforts, anybody can find anything, you can find somebody who's strictly just talking about canola farming and Canada, you can talk to somebody that's just doing, you know, grapes, or blueberries or whatever, it's all out there. And so together, when somebody is getting off work, and they don't know what to buy, or they're worried about something, you know, yeah, you can Google it. But it's kind of like googling your medical symptoms, right? Like you, you know, you don't always want to Google your medical symptoms, like you don't always want to Google agriculture, there's a lot of misinformation online, and anybody can say what they want, but to dig in and understand the critical thinking behind where people are getting their information, I think is also really important. But, you know, somebody can jump on Facebook, and they're following me or whoever they prefer. That's, that's really lives in the industry every day. You know, if you're a farmer, agribusiness, professional, a student, you know, a student here at UF ag program here, there's an incredible opportunity for consumers to just scroll through their newsfeed and have our stuff show up on their their newsfeed and say, oh, you know, I always kind of wondered about that, or people that send me messages or leave comments that inspire me for the next topic. And that happens all the time. So really just bridging that communication.

Phillip Stokes 23:28
And you mentioned at the beginning, developing trust, giving trust, right, and people want keepin it real, like you said, people want to see you keep it real and, and they want to. They want to be able to make the decisions for themselves. But they want to be able to have someone kind of help them along the way. Right? Yeah, that level of trust.

Michelle Miller 23:47
Yeah, it's like, you know, my posts, I run on my platforms differently, right? Like Facebook is mostly just agriculture, my Instagram is more glimpse into my personal life, my Twitter is more just like, short and sweet, like taking a selfie at a conference, you know, so everything is I handle everything differently. So therefore, you kind of attract different audiences in different places as well. But, you know, it's just fun, because you vary your content. But building trust, yeah, I mean, you make people laugh, and you help people learn where their food comes from, they get to know you, you get to know them. Like I love seeing some of the same names pop up over the years on my posts that are commenting, and they inspire me, they, they helped me keep going and, and learn about what topics to write about next. So you never know.

Phillip Stokes 24:32
Today, we're doing an exercise here in the PIE Center, about trusted sources about information on COVID-19 Oh, of course, a completely different subject. But, you know, we watch some TIK TOK videos and some things and you know, I won't go too much into it because there is a research study that's kind of being conducted around it, but I think you can kind of look at parallels with that too. You know, it's like, we were trying to navigate COVID for so long and to some extent we still are, but tick tock was used social media was used, of course, you know, just kind of traditional forms of media, and

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figuring out where you're going to get your information and which ones you trust. And yeah, kind of the same thing I would say.

Michelle Miller 25:15
Yeah I would say so. And it's also cool because when you will have like, so Kevin Folta is a great example. He's here at UF and everything I've learned about COVID-19. I've kind of learned through his podcast of talking biotech because he had Dr. Natalie Dean, who's also here at UF. And I listened to these podcast episodes. And then another doctor I was following Michael Mina, I believe is his name. But he was famous in the COVID-19 world because he had a communication on Twitter with Elon Musk, right? So stuff like that goes viral. So it's, it's about, you know, celebrities can do a great job bringing science to the forefront because as soon as Elon Musk is in there, people are paying attention. But Elon Musk is getting his source directly from the scientists. Like I'm getting my source. I'm getting my information directly from the scientists through people I trust, like Kevin Foltas podcast. So all these different platforms are great to come together. And that's kind of one of the things I wish agriculture did more of to was like, involve celebrities, because once you get somebody like, Ellen DeGeneres did an anti-meat video on her show, was it like last year or the year before? Where it got like 15 million views overnight on how livestock are destroying the planet and how everybody should go vegan and all that stuff or eat less, eat less meat was her hashtag. And so stuff like that, where it's like, Well, if that if there's 50 million people that are now more misinformed about livestock because Ellen DeGeneres did it? Well, our our industry should do something like that. Because like back in the 90s, you know, he had the big got milk with the celebrities and milk mustache when I was a kid in the 90s. I thought milk was the coolest thing on the planet. Because for that, well, you know, very awesome campaign. Like, of course, milk is healthy, like how dare you stray from milk. It's amazing. That's, that's why celebrities, that's why pro athletes, like that's what they drink. That's what they do. I was like, milk is cool. And as much as we don't always want to admit it, celebrities make a huge impact. And so it's, again, it's like, well, if you want to find your information on COVID-19, well, how are you finding it? A lot of people are pretty intellectually lazy, they're going to google it, or they're just going to like search hashtag COVID- 19 and maybe end up down a rabbit hole of misinformation. Same for agriculture. Don't Google your medical symptoms, or don't google livestock, livestock-care or GMOs? Because the Non GMO Project or like, you know, some animal rights activist groups will come up and they're like, oh, boy, here we go.

Phillip Stokes 27:34
That's actually an interesting point. Because we don't I don't know if we want to do that experiment now. But if you're listening at home, and you want to do this experiment, like if you Google GMO like, what is the first thing that's going to pop up? Is it going to be something kind of on?

Michelle Miller 27:47 What is the GMO? What?

Phillip Stokes 27:49
What is the GMO or GMO was bad? Or GMOs good?

Michelle Miller 27:52

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Yeah. I remember I googled it a long time ago. And I think it's changed now. Because I remember when I googled it years ago, what is a GMO and it brought up a bunch of nonsense. And I, you can on Google and Facebook, you can click, I think it's like the upper right hand corner and say this isn't true or whatever, report it. And I remember I had done a post about it. And I was sharing it in my pro science, Facebook groups, encouraging other people, Hey, share this, share this to your page. Let's make this go viral. There's a Facebook group called GMO lol that I really love. But these, these are great networks of people where we all have the same common goal to give science, a bigger voice. And so it went pretty viral to the point where now if you Google it, I'm pretty sure is one of the first thing that pops up now. And I think it's different for different people and your algorithms or whatever. But, but I do feel like we've made a lot of progress in the biotech realm. But yeah, it is interesting what pops up in a Google search, but we've got to research the author, you know, what is their background? You know, are they a plant breeder? Are they a scientist, are they somebody that does it for a living? Or is it just like a food company in a marketing's marketing program to say, Well, you got to buy our products? Because if you're not, this is bad. And it's like, Well, is it though? Probably not. But you know, you just you got to dig into it. People have to be less intellectually lazy, if that makes sense.

Phillip Stokes 29:13
Yeah, because I'm thinking the media and not trying to paint the media in a bad light or anything, but there's kind of this positive feedback loop where when one thing starts kind of getting spread, another media source picks it up, and so on and so forth. Right. So it kind of it sets the agenda with the public as well, whatever is being spread the media, whether it's completely factual and founded or not, and a lot of times those things sort themselves out over time. Like we've given some examples on that. But I think in general, like you said, do your research look, just look into into these topics a little bit more about, you know, a lot of topics on science communication.

Michelle Miller 29:52
Yeah, totally. And that that expression, do your research is even like people think doing research is Google. Yeah, that's true. Oh no man, there's people that do their real research. You know, I like I saw this meme that somebody said, they're like, I've done my research and it was a girl sitting on her toilet or her couch on her on her internet browser. And then it cuts to the scientist. He's like, they're actually doing research in a lab. He's like, Yeah, that's cute.

Phillip Stokes 30:17
That's good. I, I'm gonna think about that now, every time. And I'm never going to use that phrase, again, because because now I'm seeing in a different light. I understand what you're saying,

Michelle Miller 30:29
The same thing happened to me, too. I was just like, oh, man, like, you know, and that's the other thing too, man, scientists and farmers are probably some of the most world's most underappreciated people, you know, farmworkers and people that make sure we get enough to eat every day, man. And the scientists that make it happen with problem solving, and coming up with solutions. And man, we, our industry is really incredible, you know, but we just, we just got to get it out there. And sometimes, too, it's like, you can talk to these brilliant people. And these scientists that are, you know, PhDs just like,

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excellent, just gosh, they're just incredible people. But then they tend to speak over the average person that doesn't understand it, right. So I'm always like, you guys have to remember that people don't know what a genome is. They don't know what DNA is, they don't know. They don't know what a combine is, they don't know what a planter looks like, you know, so all these different things where it's like, we've got to really remember to dumb it down, not because people are stupid, they've just never been exposed to exposed to it. But they want to, we just have to, again, put yourself in their shoes, you know, we're, we're not going to understand a lot of things as well. But as long as somebody keeps it really basic or uses analogies or makes it kind of fun and interesting way to learn. That's how people are going to absorb the information.

Phillip Stokes 31:39
Any any last things that you want to finish up with any last comments about, you know, ways that you reach your audience or, or just anything really.

Michelle Miller 31:49
yeah, no, I just, you know, when I when I do these talks, you know, I really just want people to kind of take home some points and realize that your voice matters, you know, that together, I think it's really important that we come together and for people to realize you know, that they should all be a part of this discussion, because together we can do really incredible things and your voice matters. So speak up and have fun with it.

Phillip Stokes 32:12
I like that. I like that. Well, Michelle Miller, farm babe, thanks so much for being on science by the slice. I had a lot of fun talking to you today.

Michelle Miller 32:19
Yeah, you too. Thank you so much.

Phillip Stokes 32:28
I want to thank Michelle Miller, aka the farm baby for being on Science by the Slice. You can follow the farm babe on Facebook where her name is simply farm babe on Twitter and Instagram where she is the farm baby and visit our website, We'll include this information in the show notes. But to be honest, I doubt anyone is going to have difficulty finding her online if you simply search for farm baby. Now, I don't always say this, but if you enjoy our podcast, please follow us on your preferred podcast app. Write us a review on Apple podcasts or send us an email with any comments or feedback. We'd love to hear from you. Our email is I want to thank everyone involved in Science by the Slice. Michaela Kandzer, Rachel Raybon, Valentina Castano, Sydney Honeycutt, Ricky Telg, Ashley McLeod-Morin and Alena Poulan. I'm Phillip Stokes. Thanks for listening to Science by the Slice.