Oprah is by no doubt one of the most influential women, nay, people of the 20th and 21st centuries. Over the past 25 years, she has affected America’s lives by suggesting books, lifestyle choices and health advice. Additionally, one cannot ignore the countless people she has helped through her Angel Network efforts — the woman is truly amazing and daytime television is never going to be the same.
I’m not going to miss her.
For all the good Oprah has done for the mind, body and spirit of millions of Americans over the past 25 years, there is one group that was overlooked by her good deeds and words. America’s farmers and ranchers. Now, in her defense, I cannot find an episode where Oprah said, “Farmers and ranchers are bad people” however, with episodes like this, this, this and this she’s not exactly waving the ‘I Love Ag’ banner.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with society wanting to know where their food comes from; I highly encourage informed food choices (hence the purpose of Buzzard’s Beat and this blog, too). However, the people telling that story need to be the farmers and ranchers themselves. Michael Pollan may be a food expert but he is most certainly not a health, agriculture or farming expert. Neither are Kathy Freston or Alicia Silverstone — all celebrities who have been guests on Oprah during one of her ‘go-green, eat veggies and save the earth’ shows.
I have read many books from Oprah’s book lists and have several times cried while watching her reveal a new home to an underprivileged family. I most recently let tears flow when she had five women on the show who shared how they helped deliver a lifelong jail sentence to the man that knowlingly infected them with HIV. Will I be crying when she says her final goodbye tomorrow?
Not a chance. Oprah’s absence will no doubt leave viewers searching for a new source of health and food information, that I for one will be thrilled at the opportunity to fill. Are you going to step up and be that resource?
Where do you weigh in? Do you think agriculture will benefit from Oprah’s departure? What are the chances that a pro-ag celebrity will take the spotlight on daytime television? Any ideas for who will be the next talk show queen (or king)?
Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~