One of the greatest rewards of my work is seeing people in agriculture effectively tell their story.  This week’s posting features some excellent examples of ways agriculturists can make a difference – and need to.

Hog Farmer Blog

hog farmerSomewhere in Iowa, a fifth-generation hog farmer is getting up just after dawn. He’s pulling on his jeans that are bare in the knees and short at the ankles and a weathered university sweatshirt that dates back to his days as an ag student in college. After a quick swig of coffee and an earful of the early weather reports, he steps into his boots and heads out to his hog barns. His wife will wake in an hour to start the morning ritual of getting their three kids up and ready for school. Then she’ll take off for her job at an office an hour away from the farm.

He spends the next several hours walking the pens of his farrow-to-finish operation, making sure the sows and piglets are comfortable, measuring feed rations, contacting the vet with a question about a pig’s health status.

He’s feeding the animals the corn that grows on the land of his family’s century farm, meaning it’s been in existence for more than 100 years.  Read the full posting at http://iowafarmbureau.wordpress.com/.

Published Letter to the Editor TIME: Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food

TIME CoverAs a longtime family dairy farmer, I’m angered by TIME’s biased attack on agriculture in its article “Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food.” There’s no question that farming, like every industry, has changed – but the change is driven by a passion for our profession.

My father, brothers and I are committed to doing what’s right for our community, our animals and natural resources, while producing dairy products that are safe, affordable and healthy.

Today, my father, brother and I can operate our 500-cow dairy more efficiently to keep up with the growing world demand for our milk. Modern technology enhances individual animal care… Read complete published letter.

Debate On Food, Inc.

“It’s hard to take it sitting down,” says Jason Kvols, a 35-year old farmer from Laurel, Nebraska. “You know, we get automatically defensive of our industry, and I think what needs to be done is more opportunities for farmers and ranchers to get into situations where they have a voice-where they can speak out and say ‘this is what I do and this is why I do it’.”

Kvols, who serves on the Nebraska Farm Bureau board of directors, was recently part of a panel discussion following the showing of the Food Inc.movie in Lincoln.  He says it was a good experience and an excellent opportunity to present the other side of the story. Kvols says social networking, such as Twitter and Facebook, is also a great tool. Listen to his radio interview on Brownfield.

Three great case studies about effectively giving a voice to the people who raise our food. If only these were proactive pieces instead of reactive.

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