April 2008

As much as I believe in the merits of our agrifood system, our grocery bill has become more painful.  They want how much for those eggs and that gallon of milk?  My urban and suburban friends have asked a number of times in the last year about why food costs so much.  “It must be farmers getting rich” or “Ethanol is sure driving up the price of everything” are the typical comments. (more…)

If you want a dose of reality about the environmental push against food production, look no further Greenpeace’s ranting at http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/news/green-living-guide/on-your-plate.  They also have an extensive report available targeting agriculture’s role in greenhouse emissions in Europe.  As I review this and other reports of how modern day farming is poisoning the land in mass media, I always have to pause to consider how we can do a better job in explaining agriculture’s concern for the environment.

Try these on for size – some quick facts can be very effective in a coffee shop or church conversation. The majority are from www.farmpolicyfacts.org, many sourced from USDA. (more…)

Since sweeping barns as a kindergartner and then buying my first registered Holstein at the age of 9, I’ve had a love affair with dairy cattle. However, I really have to wonder what’s happening with our business.  We are destroying our once lauded image of “nature’s most perfect” food and completely confusing consumers by allowing marketing to get in the way of this great product.  Milk is milk; it all has the same nutrients, the same hormones, is free of antibiotics and all goes through the same testing.  Every bulk tank of milk is tested the same, regardless of how it will be eventually labelled. (more…)

Speaking at Wisconsin Dietetic Association provided an exciting opportunity to help a key group of influencers better understand agriculture. A recent Animal Ag Alliance/NCGA study shows that 88% of consumers look to dietitians for food safety and quality concerns.  This, combined with media’s daily reference of America’s “obesity epidemic” clearly indicates that agriculture needs to be sure nutrition professionals understand and appreciate their food source. (more…)

In a generic sense, that’s an easy question to answer – we all need food, clothes, energy, and a myriad of other products agriculture provides.  It becomes more complicated in today’s sensationalized society driven by the misinformed.  The “cause” of agriculture matters not only because of the products provided for society, but because of the people involved from the farm gate to the consumer plate.  Those people  have been constantly attacked by anti-agriculture activist groups, including HSUS, Farm Sanctuary, PETA, ALF, ELF, Greenpeace, PCRM, et al. 

It’s the faces behind the food plate that have inspired this blog.  (more…)