Mike Barnett of Texas Agriculure Talks, the Texas Farm Bureau blog, wrote today about some important aspects of the agriculture industry that consumers need to know. His comments are apropos of March 15, National Agriculture Day.
Mike says that while there is no shortage of safe and wholesome food in this country, there are those who would bite the hand that feeds them. He says that there are 5 things that may be hard truths for ag critics to stomach, but they are truths nonetheless.
- • Farmers use pesticides—even organic farmers. Pesticides may be a natural part of the plant, may be made from another plant, or may be synthetic in nature. Pesticides are regulated by the government and are evaluated for their effects on human health and environment. They are safely and judiciously used by farmers and ranchers to ward off crop and livestock disease problems.
- • Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not evil. Genetic improvement—through traditional plant breeding techniques as well as genetic modification in the lab—has allowed our food and fiber supply to keep pace with a surging world population.
- • The bacon, eggs and milk you had for breakfast this morning likely came from a pig, chicken and dairy cow that was raised in a confined feeding operation. In that confined operation, the pig, chicken or dairy cow had an excellent health plan, good groceries and protection from bad weather and predators.
- • Farmers make profits. Farmers make money by taking care of their land and water resources. They bank those resources to ensure future generations can continue the rich heritage of growing food and fiber.
- • The average farmer in the United States feeds 155 people. Two-thirds of those people are Americans. The other third are people across the globe.
America is a lucky nation.
Our food is abundant. Our food is safe. Our food is affordable.
From this little corner of cyberspace, I salute farmers and ranchers. They are the reason America enjoys food security. They are the reason we celebrate National Agriculture Day.
We would agree.