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David Sparks Ph.d Fake News
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: September 01, 2017

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In the Idaho Cattle Association Executive Update, Cameron Mulrony wrote an op-ed piece. Here’s what it said. The world of misinformation is readily available.  The ability to access this information is at an all-time high.


These things can often lead to a lot of confusion for consumers, ranchers, businessmen, and the rest of us.  Information is a key component in decision making for all.  However, misinformation guides us in the wrong direction.  Educating the public is becoming a more necessary component of our daily activities as it relates to the continued success of our industry.  As I meet and talk with people the complexity of our world has grown and the amount of information that is necessary to communicate with others on a topic is growing as each individual is an expert thanks to the power of the google machine.  


Just today, I was in a conversation and was asked how the market has been.  I hesitated to respond as individuals can quickly access the real time data at the touch of a button.  Has technology affected my confidence? No, I don’t think so, but I do not want to spread misinformation to people. I asked Cameron for an example. “I was looking at the Internet and I saw a picture of an airplane sitting on a runway, but only the tail was above the water. I thought to myself, holy cow, that’s a lot of water. Then I looked below the picture and it said this is not real, it has been photoshopped.”


I don’t understand a lot of things that are happening in our country today, but I do believe that a small number of uninformed or misinformed citizens have made some choices that are being highlighted in many ways.  Together we stand, divided we fall.  I think this is true of our industry and as we move forward to continue the growth and success of the beef industry we as an industry have a great group of people working to educate our consumers and we are grateful for all of them. 

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