When I was a little girl growing up on a family dairy farm, I clearly remember the pain associated with the death of an animal.  I also remember seeing animals butchered and being “grossed out.”  However, I knew the animals we raised served a purpose greater than being my pet- to provide nourishment to humans.  That’s a perspective shared by most farm kids, but is missing from the 98.5% of people not directly involved in production agriculture. (more…)

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Michael Pollan of the New York Times and author of In Defense of Food, has gained a passionate following.  Many in our business don’t buy that Pollan’s in touch with modern agriculture.  He’s working on a new, likely very profitable book, and wants reader input on food rules. “In recent years, we’ve deferred to the voices of science and industry when it comes to eating, yet often their advice has served us poorly…” (more…)

kelsayKelsay Farm, a modern dairy farm just south of Indianapolis, IN, has done an excellent job of helping more people understand food production. I recently asked Amy Kelsay to share her passion educating others about where their food originates.   As the first of several producer profiles, I am sharing our interview to showcase those who are championing agriculture on their farm.

Describe your farm tour business and why it started: Our family had been giving farm tours for over 30 years; however in 2005, I quit my job with Purdue Extension to stay home with our daughter and found myself becoming the tour coordinator for the farm! This is a role that I absolutely love! I especially love educating young people and I feel very blessed to have this opportunity to share our 6th generation family farm with them. It’s a perfect fit for me! (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…)

Technology that increases productivity excites me, but I wasn’t one of the early adopters of social media.  Frankly, it seemed like a waste of time. However, when I saw a “movement” created online before the 2008 U.S. elections and learned that half of FaceBook users are older than college age, I decided social media was worth a second look.  Same goes with webinars; I’ve never been a huge fan, but have found the technology to be a great training tool to reach people across the world without requiring any of us the pain and cost of travel.  And, since piloting them in December, I’ve found webinars make even more sense when you need the users to be looking at a computer screen, such as training about social media. (more…)

What a week it’s been for the agrifood business to go on a wild ride with the national popular press. The ride started with Sunday’s edition (October 12) of Food Fights, the New York Times Magazine, with a reported circulation of 1.7 million. 

In a “Dear Mr. President-Elect” nine-page diatribe, Michael Pollan wrote “It may surprise you to learn that among the issues that will occupy much of your time in the coming years is one you barely mentioned during the campaign: food. Food policy is not something American presidents have had to give much thought to, at least since the Nixon administration — the last time high food prices presented a serious political peril…” (more…)

Yesterday afternoon, pork producers around North America collectively shuddered with news of the latest video demonizing animal agriculture from PETA.  It’s important to understand that this hits below the belt for everyone in agriculture, whether you’re in the hog side or another sector. The video is shockingly graphic, grabs emotions and ends with a line referencing that any consumption of pork, ham, sausage or bacon supports the abuse of hogs like those portrayed in the video.  PETA also added words to the screen so viewers were sure to understand the extraordinarily derogatory language that was used. (more…)