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Biotech is here to stay, in medicine and food

Biotech is here to stay, in medicine and food

By Gene Hall

When we go to the doctor, we tend to listen, aware of the training, knowledge and expertise behind those letters.

“M.D.” We say, “Make me well.”

It would never occur to us to say, “Make me well the way doctors did three generations ago.” Medicine’s come a long way since then.

Biotech research in cows has yielded positive results in changing the properties of milk for human consumption.
It may be possible to cure deadly diseases as a result of similar bovine genome research.

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Food fear could lead to out-of-control labeling

Food fear could lead to out-of-control labeling

By Mike Barnett

Over 80 percent of Americans support “mandatory labels on food containing DNA.”

So says a recent survey conducted by the Oklahoma State University Department of Agriculture Economics, as reported by The Washington Post. And it’s the same numbers that support labeling of GMO foods.

According to Oklahoma State Economist Jayson Lusk, a government-imposed label on foods containing DNA might look something like this:

WARNING: This product contains deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The Surgeon General has determined that DNA is linked to a variety of diseases in both humans and animals. In some configurations, it is a risk factor for cancer and heart disease. Pregnant women are at very high risk of passing on DNA to their children.

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Share the good stuff!

Share the good stuff!

By Gene Hall

A typical conversation with a farmer or rancher about social media might go something like this:

“Hey, I enjoyed your blog last week.”

“Very good,” I might answer. “Did you share it?”

“Ah, no, but I ‘liked’ it,” referring to the Facebook button for that purpose.

All that is fine as it lets us know someone read enough of the work to have an opinion. However, being effective in social media, especially Facebook, has three levels.

The “like” is the simple click of a button.

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Time to step up political activism

Time to step up political activism

By Russell Boening

Texas Farm Bureau President

It is my great honor to be selected president of Texas Farm Bureau by the voting delegates at our Corpus Christi convention. As that all sinks in, I’m eager to get started. We have a big job ahead, and there are many challenges.

To start with, it’s a legislative year. As a farmer, I know about taking care of the land and preparing the ground for a new crop. In only a few days, our elected representatives will return to Austin. That in itself is challenging, and we have to be ready. We will study the issues and develop relationships with state officials. Many of them have never been part of state government before. Others are now in a completely different role.

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Fearless ag predictions for 2015

Fearless ag predictions for 2015

By Mike Barnett

Time. Where did it go? Seems like yesterday I made my fearless ag predictions for 2014. I wasn’t exactly on target on all of them. But that doesn’t deter me from trying again this year.

Here’s what’s going to happen in 2015. At least in my warped view of the world…

January. “Howdy y’all” becomes the official greeting in Washington, D.C. as members of the Texas delegation assume leadership of six of the 21 House committees, including the House Agriculture Committee.

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My favorite photos from 2014

My favorite photos from 2014

By Mike Barnett

Photography’s my passion. It allows me to capture special moments, times and places and keep those memories forever. It just happens to coincide with my other passions: agriculture and rural Texas. There are so many great stories to tell and what better way than through pictures.

Here are some of my personal favorites—a month-to-month journey through 2014.

 

January. I am fortunate to live right down the street from Lake Waco. I make it a habit to go outside every night before sunset and check the sky. I knew this was going to be a good one. Spectacular clouds and light.

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