content top

When the pop culture takes itself too seriously

When the pop culture takes itself too seriously

By Gene Hall

When it comes to controversial food issues such as GMOs, I’ll take science and research over pop culture every time.

I’ve written here about how pop culture assumptions get circulated in the Internet maze until they become a sort of conventional wisdom that is not at all wise. We’ve become a celebrity culture that almost worships the famous, even those who are famous for being famous.

I have no problem with that, but I’ve spent some time trying to figure out where to draw the line. Should celebrities have freedom to test the limits of what it takes to entertain us? Absolutely! Should we depend on them to be our advisors on diet and health? I’m thinking “no.”

Read More

The pickup lover’s Top 10

The pickup lover’s Top 10

Editor’s Note: In celebration of Throwback Thursday, Mike Barnett is reviving an old blog.

By Mike Barnett

Texas farmers and ranchers love pickups.

Doesn’t matter what brand or color, everyone has one. They carry our dust on the outside and mud on the inside. They’re decorated with dings and scratches from errant fence posts and angry cows.

Pickups haul range cubes, firewood and kids to school. The inside often smells of cow manure and wet dogs. Look in the back of a pickup and you’ll likely find welders, torches and the tools of agriculture’s trade.

Read More

Hey, EPA: Don’t mess with my barbecue!

Hey, EPA: Don’t mess with my barbecue!

By Mike Barnett

Backyard barbecues. EPA. Mix the two and what do you get? A pollution study with the potential to kill hot dog and hamburger cookouts. At least that’s how I read it.

Sometimes those not involved in agriculture have a hard time understanding all the fuss Texas farmers and ranchers raise about the environmental agency. For example, a rule now being finalized by EPA could bring regulation of water down to bar ditches and fields—potentially affecting every management practice used by the farmer or rancher. It’s a hard concept to grasp unless it affects you.

Read More

Wildflowers in Texas: Road trip!

Wildflowers in Texas: Road trip!

By Mike Barnett

A Florida friend asked me last week if I was going to take a road trip over the Easter weekend to see the Texas wildflowers.

There’s no prettier place than Texas in the spring, he said. And he’s right.

I was beginning to despair earlier in March. Cold, wet weather with nary a wildflower to be found.

Then I heard there was color in South Texas. Lots of color.

So I packed up last weekend and headed south of San Antonio.

And I found it. Colors of every hue. Covering the roadsides and the fields in a blanket of blaze.

Read More

5 family farm facts you should know

5 family farm facts you should know

By Mike Barnett

Family farm. Two words Americans love. With good reason.

Family means many things. Loving. Caring. Nurturing.

All apply to the family farmers I know. Too bad there are many misconceptions about what family farms are and aren’t.

Could be many of us are far removed from farm life. Some think of family farms as idyllic—a small place where the sun always shines, with chickens and cows, a patch of corn and a vegetable garden.

Read More

Consumers and farmers: Be safe during planting season

Consumers and farmers: Be safe during planting season

By Gene Hall

Safety—for farmers and their city neighbors—is our top concern as spring planting gets underway.

When it stops raining in Texas—and we all know it will—the huge planting machines of agriculture will start rolling. Our ever-expanding urban lifestyle gobbles up countryside, reaching into areas that were once very rural. Now, these roads are heavily traveled. That means we’ll see tractors and planters on the highways with us.

Read More
content top