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Agricultural scientist Steve Savage: Am I A “Shill For Big Ag?

| | February 24, 2014

Because I blog, speak, and comment in support of various agricultural technologies, I am routinely accused of being a “shill for Big Ag” or for some company which you can probably guess.  They believe that I am somehow paid to say what I say.  If I am a “shill,”  I’m clearly not doing it right.  Either that, or there is in fact no money in the shill business.

I’m a somewhat unusual member of this advocacy community in that I’m very much an industry insider.  In the past I’ve worked for a large technology company, DuPont, and also for a small, start-up technology company, Mycogen.  Since 1996 I’ve been an independent consultant working for all sorts of different companies in the agricultural technology space – pretty much all of them at one time or another.  Over those years I’ve done projects on a wide range of technology, marketing and sustainability questions, but none of that paid work has had anything to do with the advocacy work I’ve been doing since 2009.  In fact, the substantial amount of time I’ve spent on blogging etc has had the effect of reducing my consulting income. My writing has also compromised my consulting business to some degree. My visibility in a controversial and acrimonious debate is problematic from the perspective of some of my clients.  My writing has led to some speaking engagements, but when I do get an honorarium for those, it does not begin to cover the lost potential income.

Read the full original article: Am I A “Shill For Big Ag?”

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