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Talking Agriculture

10 Jul

There is nothing better than getting to talk about agriculture with random strangers. It never ceases to amaze me how connected we are within agriculture. It’s a bond thy can only be seen from the inside.

Today at work I was waiting on a table when I noticed this man was wearing a hat with a seed company on it. I got pretty excited because I assumed he had to be a farmer so I asked, and it turned out that he was. I instantly told him I was an ag major at Missouri Sate and we began talking about different Ag companies and my plans for the future. He told me that his daughter was an Ag business major who had formally worked with Monsanto. Hearing his story of his daughters success made me even more excited to graduate an enter into the field of agriculture! I love my major and I cannot wait to begin classes again in the fall.

Misconceptions of Agriculture Part 2:

20 Apr

Last week I started a series of Misconceptions of Agriculture, this is the second part of the topic.

4.  MYTH: There is no future in Agriculture

-FACT: According to Fox News, more than 146,00 students in college are pursing a degree in agriculture, this is a 21% increase in enrollment since 2006. Food and Agriculture sectors produce more than 54,000 jobs a year for students with degrees in food renewable energy, and environmental specialties. Agriculture is a growing industry with much hope for the future considering we continue to need more and more food to feed the world. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs in the agriculture sector are expected to increase by 10% from 2010 to 2020.

5. MYTH: Farm animals in “confinement” are prone to diseases, forcing farmers to routinely use antibiotics, hormones and drugs to keep them alive. This jeopardizes animal and human health.

-FACT: Animal scientists, veterinarians and on-farm experience show animals kept in housing are generally healthier because they are protected. Farm animals do sometimes get sick. To prevent illness and to ensure that an animal remains healthy all of its life, farmers will take preventive measures, like using animal health products. These products are generally included in a scientifically-formulated feed that matches the animal’s needs. This is the simplest way to ensure each animal gets the care it needs. Animal health products include animal drugs and vaccines, in addition to vitamins, minerals and other nutrients the animal needs in its diet. All animal health products are approved and regulated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).  (Myth and Fact taken from realfarmersrealfood.com)

6. MYTH: Organic food production doesn’t use pesticides or synthetic fertilizers

-FACT: Organic production can use “natural” pesticides such as mineral salts, and pesticides from plants. In fact the largest quantity of chemical pesticides are being applied to organic crops as approved “natural pesticides” (American Farm Bureau Foundation)

 

Check out Matt Lohr from Virgina’s Farm Bureau top 10 list as well!  http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/news/releases-b/031413agwk.shtml

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Misconceptions of Agriculture Part 1:

16 Apr

Misconceptions:

Part 1

1. MYTH: Farming is mostly controlled by large organizations

FACT: According to FarmKind.org and USDA NASS “Of the 2.2 million farms in the U.S., 87% are owned by an individual or a married couple responsible for operating the farm. 97% of U.S. farms are family-owned and operated, according to the USDA. The USDA reported only 7,000 non-family controlled corporate farms in the U.S.

2. MYTH: Farm animals that are raised in “factory farms” are abused and confined.

FACT: According to  the Merriam-Webster dictionary’s website, factory farming is defined as “a large industrialized farm; especially : a farm on which large numbers of livestock are raised indoors in conditions intended to maximize production at minimal cost” The problem is that people misuse this word all the time giving the term a negative feeling. This definition is so broad. Isn’t the goal of all farms to maximize production at minimal cost? A farmer could have a 100 head of cattle and someone could say that is “large” but to others it may just be a normal size

3. MYTH: By eating less meat, Americans would improve the environment and free land and resources for the production of food crops rather than animal products, which could be used to feed the hungry overseas.(Misconception and Fact provided by Animal Agriculture Alliance)

-FACT:  Americans need both animals and plants to manage the nation’s natural resources in the best way possible and feed its people. For example, about half the land area of the U.S. can’t be used for growing crops, it can only be used for grazing. That land would be useless as a food resource.

Animal Lover

7 Apr

Today I got the chance to venture to the outskirts of Springfield and bottle feed a calf for the first time. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect since I’d never done it before. When I arrived we filled up each bottle with a mixture of formula and water. I went to the barn and got my first glimpse at the cute babies They were adorable! Bottle feeding is exactly what it sounds like, I just held the bottle while the calf drank. As I was watching the babies drink from the bottle, I couldn’t help but think of the extent of care that farmers and ranchers give their animals. The fact that these farmers and ranchers take the time to give bottles to these calves every morning and night is simply amazing! I’ll never understand how groups such as the HSUS and PETA insist that agriculturalists don’t take good care of our animals.

My best friend growing up raised cows and horses, so I’ve been around livestock all my life. I watched her dad pour his life into taking care of their animals and he did an amazing job of it. As for the horses, you will never find someone more in love with her horses. We were constantly brushing and feeding them making sure they were happy and well taken care of. We once stayed up an entire night with a horse just to be able to be there when the horse gave birth. Seeing that little animal take her first wobbly steps is a sight I will never forget. It’s these memories that I will never forget that have made me want to stand up for agriculture. I can’t stand to see people making false accusations about animal agriculture, when they know nothing about it.

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Thank A Farmer

1 Apr

 

I was introduced to this song, sung by James Wesley, by one of my friends, but I just recently heard it on the radio. I love this song because its able to advocate in a different way. It appeals to those who love a good country song but has that secret message to appreciate the farmers in this world. The fact that country stars are supporting the farmer is a huge deal! It is things like this that will reach out and grab peoples attention who maybe haven’t thought about how much farmers contribute to the world they live in. The year of the farmer is here and the more people on board the more people we can reach. If we can band together as one people working to get acknowledgement to the farmer then it can actually happen. First the dodge commercial and now this, mainstream media is picking up on the year of the farmer it is time everyone does. Everyone has a group of people they can reach. So I challenge you all to go and find those people that you can agvocate to and spread the news! Share the stories of farmers to all your friends, and one by one we can get the farmers the appreciation they deserve and we together can show people how important American agriculture is!

 

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National Ag Day

19 Mar

Happy National Ag Day!!

It is days like today that make me so proud to be apart of the agriculture industry! I absolutely love seeing people come together and rally around agriculture. Social media has made it so much easier to see all the ag support and is a great tool for agvocating. I’ve been tweeting about agriculture all day, made a facebook post, and i intend on instagraming an agriculture related photo. People need to know where their food comes from now more than ever with the agriculture industry under attack. In order to celebrate the day I’ve decided to share fun agriculture facts with all my friends, and share my passion for agriculture.

Here’s my Top 10 List

(from American Farm Bureau)

1. Farm and ranch families comprise just 2 percent of the U.S. population.

2. Today’s farmers produce 262 percent more food with 2 percent fewer inputs (labor, seeds, feed, fertilizer, etc.), compared with 1950.

3. In 2010, $115 billion worth of American agricultural products were exported around the world. The United States sells more food and fiber to world markets than we import, creating a positive agricultural trade balance.

4. Americans enjoy a food supply that abundant, affordable overall and among the world’s safest, thanks in large part to the efficiency and productivity of America’s farm and ranch families.

5. The average farmer feeds about 155 people

6. Of the 2.2 million farms in the United States, 87% are owned by an individual or a married couple (agweb.com)

(the following are from farmflavor.com)

7. The average dairy cow produces seven gallons of milk a day, 2,100 pounds of milk a month, and 46,000 glasses of milk a year

8. One pound of wool can make 10 miles of yarn. There are 150 yards (450 feet) of wool yarn in a baseball

9. Soybeans are an important ingredient for the production of crayons. In fact, one acre of soybeans can produce 82,368 crayons

10. Pork is the most widely eaten meat in the world.

Agriculture is so important to so many people! I encourage all of you to spread the ag love and share the greatness of agriculture not just today, but every day!

#FarmVoices

2 Mar

“we are young, we are capable, we will farm on!”

This video above popped on my Twitter timeline the other day. After watching it, I was inspired. It is so true that the youth in agriculture are the ones who need to unite and stand behind the values past agriculturalists have held. The future of this industry is in our hands, in just a little while we will be taking up the farms of our families. We as young farmers and ranchers need to remember to share our story with everyone. It is not enough to just feed and farm. We as agriculturalists need to spread the word! Agriculture is the backbone of our nation and it is time that everyone realizes it. If we don’t stand up ourselves, no one will. If we don’t tell the world our story, someone else will and I know it won’t be the accurate one. On Earth Day (April 22) they are encouraging people to take pictures and share their story via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, ect. and hashtag it with #FarmVoices so the world will hear what we have to say. I encourage you all do this, it is a great way to show the positive side of agriculture. Who knows maybe we could even get #FarmVoices trending!