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Agriculture And Farm Misconceptions

March 29, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere seems, among some, an increasing interest in knowing how their food gets to their table. While some have political interests in waging for or against biotechnology and other issues, others just want to know how it’s done. As I mentioned yesterday, much of this comes to perception. This is hard to shake, and it’s always easier to hold someone else to standards that we would never want to be challenged with ourselves.

For example, say you finally got the home of your dreams. Someone comes into your home one day slinging insults and demanding that green carpet be ripped up as it’s unfit for existing. It must be a 1970s shade of the good ol’ days – what was modern then is not now. Life moves on. But some demand that 70s look. It was right! It was comforting and it was better. Toss the computer, the cell phone, GPS and all the information overload of recent history. They’re distractions from living.

Then someone comes along and say that’s not enough! You must tear down your home and live in a teepee because that’s more natural. It worked for Native Americans so therefore everyone should be like that.

I don’t think there would be a great deal of agreement that these last two paragraphs happen. Many like the idea of that, but the reality of giving up the conveniences and modern technology that make our lives easier is something else. Many areas don’t even *have* pay phones anymore and if they do prepare for sticker shock to use them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYet isn’t that what society expects of agriculture? I hear some want outdoor pens and yet slam farmers if the animals are in mud, or too cold or wet. Yesterday was news of two research barns in Maryland burning, killing thousands of chicks. Whether this was a brooder malfunction or arson has already been debated. Animals were brought in for animal comfort, which seems unimportant in today’s world. The fact that those thousands of chicks would freeze to death if not in that barn doesn’t seem to matter. Nor does it get noticed it’s for research.

Research is evil right? Research is providing genetic testing that reduces salmonella in eggs, making healthier food for you simply by selection of birds less prone to carrying it. Research is providing answers to medical issues that afflict animals. Research is developing more efficient use of water and feed. Research is finding answers to ongoing issues in our world.

And although we don’t grow from Perdue or Tyson or other large corporations, I am thankful for that research. That research means maybe one day I can have even more confidence that my too-small-to-test facility is not just NPIP tested, but can, with selection, have an even smaller risk of infection. That means healthier food for those embracing food choices.

We, too, benefit from ag research. It lets us focus our limited resources into what works best for us.

With an eye towards food safety and food choices, all must work together, from start to finish. We need your support, dear readers, to insure that. Thank you for reading!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 29, 2013 2:13 PM

    There needs to be more science education in this country and an understanding of how science works. I do not think there is anyone against good science, however there is just cause to examine corporate science. Not all chemicals and procedures are good for the environment, plants animals and humans. There are consequences. Finally science should not be a football tossed around in political circles, which is what many conservatives attempt. People want to be safe and healthy and are often threatened by corporate drive for profit. Education can help on all levels.

    • March 31, 2013 3:44 PM

      Agree that there are consequences. Science is too often based on incomplete information, what some call ‘junk science.’ It’s true that people want to be safe and healthy – but also true that many want things, no pun intended, fed to them. I know people who do not want the drudgery of growing and processing their food, and for those willing to do it there must be profit. This is true for corporations, but also true for small places like us! I appreciate your comments – thank you for stopping by!

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