Environment


“You can change the world with every bite.” is the closing line of Food, Inc. Rather than getting into the debate around this sensationalized “opiniontary” – I’ll just suffice it to say that it doesn’t fairly represent an incredibly complex agriculture system. However, the last line (set to “This Land is Your Land” music and lovely graphics that clearly show the money poured into the film) caught my attention.  I’m sure it resonated with many viewers who are wondering about WHO is behind their food. (more…)

“Agvocacy” is the heart and soul of National Agriculture Week. A farmer in Ohio, Mike Haley, coined the “agvocate” term on Twitter a few months ago. It brings together ‘agriculture’ and ‘advocate’ into a singular term that’s representative of the action needed. Agvocates from across the country shared their stores at the Cause Matters Corp. National Ag Week party – you’ll see they’re people just like you. (more…)

There’s a collective sigh of relief in my office! It appears a party can be thrown on Facebook – and be a cool way of connecting people. I don’t know about you, but I’m always a little worried before a party. The same worries held true before I announced the National Agriculture Week Party on the Cause Matters Corp. Facebook fan page. What if no one showed up…or it was boring…or we ran out of ideas or…(yes, I worry too much). Well,  I’m pleased to report the party seems to hopping.  Check out just a few of the great ideas shared by people across the country… (more…)

Corporate agriculture. Land profiteers. Factory farms. CAFOs.  Uncaring. Pundits of “big agriculture” espouse the downfall of our food system while pointing to greedy corporations.  After all, they’re looking to only get rich from subsidies, have no pride in the craft of agriculture, abuse animals in horrific conditions and pour chemicals on the land in an effort to make more money. Right? (more…)

Thousands have lost their jobs to water in California

Thousands have lost their jobs to water in an area known as the U.S. breadbasket

Last week agriculture saw a rare opportunity; a major farm issue was showcased during prime time, complete with celebrities sharing food and farm facts. I asked Barbara Borges Martin, one of the thousands of farms impacted by California’s environmental over-regulations, to share her experience at the live filming of the Hannity on Fox show on September 17. This is important regardless of your state or residency; these types of environmental over-regulations may be precedent setting, people standing in food lines were receiving carrots from China and nearly 12% of U.S. food production comes from the San Joaquin Valley. (more…)

“Industrial agriculture” and “factory farming” are terms used with increasing frequency, thanks to activists on a rampage to put food production in the worst light possible  to further their own agendas.  What is a factory farm?  How do you define one?  And, WHO is responsible for defining that?  (more…)

Michigan State University’s student newspaper, The State News recently ran an op-ed from one of PETA’s well-known radicals. This particularly upset me, as no reference was made to the acts of vandalism that animal rights and envrionmental activists have done to MSU’s College of Agriculture & Natural Resources over the last 20 years – including arson proven in the court of law. (more…)

In today’s world of information overload, it’s rare that a piece captures my complete attention. Even rarer is video footage  that’s worth 20 minutes of viewing. This presentation by Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs held my attention multiple times – and I think it’s worthy of yours.

He clearly outlines the need for correcting misconceptions, overcoming complacency and building work ethic based upon his experiences as an “apprentice” with manual laborers.  Rowe describes working with a rancher to castrate lambs and finding firsthand that “humane” techniques aren’t necessarily the “right thing to do” as compared the practical application learned by people who have decades experience with animals – and knows what is best for the animals.  He learned firsthand that misconceptions can cause pain, literally and figuratively. (more…)

Natioagday_logonal Agriculture Week is is coming to a close in the U.S., with the grand finale falling on the first day of spring.  Designed to “recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture” it’s a week filled with breakfasts, school visits, educational displays to help people remember that food does not come from a grocery store or a factory.

However, I have to ask the question…does anyone outside of agriculture care?  It’s very telling of this country’s mindset about food production when we have to proclaim a week to draw attention to products featured at  three meals daily.  Now, before I ruffle any feathers, please know that I applaud and support the efforts of Ag Council of America, the official coordinators of Ag Day. It is a great tool for agriculturists to reach out in their communities and build understanding.  If you haven’t seen the fact sheet, take a look at http://www.agday.org/media/factsheet.php. (more…)

    Nearly 700,000 children went hungry in the U.S. last year.  One in eight people in this nation struggled to feed themselves adequately.  Both of those startling facts, cited in an NBC report, came before the bottom fell out of the economy.  USDA indicates 12.2% of our population “didn’t have the money or assistance to get enough food to maintain active,  healthy lives.” (more…)

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