Joni Rose’s 500 Words | The Papaya Farmer’s Daughter Speaks Up
Joni Rose tells her story of stepping into the fray against the anti-biotech lobby in Hawaii. You can find Joni on Twitter @Rose_Joni. If you would like to share your story with us, please check out our earlier post: Callout for Your Stories! In 500 Words, What is Your Stance on GMOs in Society?
Here is Joni telling her story:
I remember back in October 2013, my newsfeed was bombarded by memes by a group called the Babes Against Biotech. They seemed like a fringe group so I initially ignored it. As the days went on, I started to realize that there was something serious going on when they started to lobby people. I immediately called my dad and told him that the farmers better get organized. My life changed from there.
My mom was not happy that I was going into the social media battlefield to speak up. To make her happy, I changed my name online to Joni Rose, to protect our family from being targets. It didn’t take long for people to figure it out that I was a biotech papaya farmer’s daughter.
I really felt that the Hawaii farmers needed a voice in the whole issue because it was being drowned out by the activists. I felt alone as the only pro-biotech commenter on the forums here. I participated in the biotech papaya research and knew and understood this technology that kept farmers farming. I felt compelled to speak for it because of the lies that were being spread all over the social media.
I eventually started a blog to share stories about farm life and my views on the politics going on. I also did pro-science pages to help give Hawaii a voice in the issue. GMOLOL was a complete relief to see on the social media. I joined as one of the first 30 members on there. I befriended other like minds and have created a network of folks that share the same values about ag biotech here. I witnessed my dad’s farm survive because it and how could I not speak out?
As much as I didn’t want to be out there about the issues, I had to do it. I could not stand aside and watch as activists point fingers and tell half truths about our farm. I was born in the year of the tiger and found that fire lit to fight for what is right and protect our family farm.
Photo credit: Cesar Ojeda | CC