February 2010


Last week I posted a note to HSUS to demonstrate how the outcry against Yellow Tail was truly grassroots. This week I wanted to highlight a few of the folks at the grassroots level that we need to celebrate. My hope is that these stories will be shared as much as the HSUS piece was; we need to celebrate what’s right about agriculture – and not just respond to the detractors. In other words, play offense not defense! (more…)

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Yellow Tail Pledges to Stop HSUS Support
UPDATE: ABC News reports HSUS donations will stop. Yellow Tail in pledge to Animal Ag Alliance (http://bit.ly/9dZrVS) said “Being farmers ourselves we support those who care for their land and their environment, just as we do. We are proud of our rural heritage and value a solid relationship with agricultural communities around the world…”

Dear Mr. Pacelle,

Your recent “urgent request for help” caught my attention. First I passed it off as another attempt to line your deep coffers with the goal of “raising $200,000 as a ‘counterpunch’ to one of our more persistent critics.”  Then I rolled my eyes at hypocrisy of your description of Richard Berman and David Martosko as “shadowy flim-flam artists” and  “an unprincipled group that gleefully stands in the way of all efforts to help animals so long as someone pays them to do it.” Given the fact that the Humane Society of the United States runs campaigns that Mike Rowe’s website has pointed to as “unethical” and law students held up as a bad example of fundraising, your name-calling seemed a bit extreme. (more…)

Sing a little song about your daily work, even when it smells . Make your message fun. Upload to YouTube from your smart phone. Share it with the world.  A family dairy farmer down in Alabama has developed quite a following for his work and his cows doing just that.  Will Gilmer, also known as “The Singing Dairyman”, creates “Moo Tube Minutes” to educate people how their milk is produced and give a voice to dairy farmers. (more…)

Conversations to connect the farm gate & consumer plate

The advent of social media has brought the diversity of food opinions to clear light. I listen and participate in hundreds of conversations daily with people around the world. It’s beneficial to converse about food, its’ origins, the people who produce it and how the agrifood system works. It’s also immensely frustrating to see how polarizing food and farming have become. (more…)

Like many pet lovers, it’s hard for me to resist a fuzzy little kitten or puppy dog playing. I was the official kitten rescuer on our farm and saved the lives of several by bottle feeding them. Many of my childhood memories center around animals – trying to persuade the Saint Bernard to pull me on a sled, hours in the hay mow with cats and fun with calves. I also remember going to local animal shelters and feeling terrible for the animals who had no home. So I “get” the attraction to campaigns run by the Humane Society of the United States – after all, who wants to see these cute little creatures suffer? (more…)

Yesterday I flew back to Indianapolis on a high from the Kansas Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Annual Meeting.  I consider airplanes to be a refuge to either get a lot of work done or sleep, so I’m not always in tune with my fellow passengers. However, I  did notice  a soldier in first class when I got on the plane. I usually stop to say thanks to soldiers, but he was trying to read a book and his legs were visibly shaking – so I didn’t bother him. (more…)