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Time to celebrate on Earth Day

Time to celebrate on Earth Day

By Gary Joiner

Earth Day is April 22. The effort actually began in 1970 as a “national day for the environment.”

The event now attracts more than one billion participants in some way. It’s the largest civic observance in the world. There are special activities and events here in Texas to commemorate the day.

The goal is to recognize the importance of protecting our natural resources. That’s a great goal. It’s a practice that farmers and ranchers honor every day.

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They’re back! Now, how to sustain bobwhite quail in Texas?

They’re back! Now, how to sustain bobwhite quail in Texas?

By Gary Joiner

Have you heard? The bobwhite quail and its iconic whistle are back in Texas. At least for this season.

It’s been a jubilee year for the popular bird. Helped by favorable weather and improved habitat across the state, quail returned to the Texas landscape. That’s great news for farmers and ranchers and the small communities who enjoy bobwhites and the important economic revenue that they generate. Towns like Albany, Aspermont and Gail know when the birds are plentiful. Registers ring on Main Street.

Can the increased quail population be sustained? Wildlife biologists are hopeful.

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Animal care is a farm and ranch priority

Animal care is a farm and ranch priority

By Gary Joiner

Record flooding in Southeast Texas reminded me again of just what great risks farmers and ranchers will take to care for their livestock. Tragically, a Central Texas rancher recently lost his life trying to save his cattle from a rising creek that engulfed his property. The accounts of personal sacrifice and commitment are remarkable. But I’m not surprised.

Animal care is a priority for farmers, ranchers and the American food supply. It’s personal for farmers and ranchers. They care for their animals 24/7, 365 days a year.

Still, a national conversation about animal care in agriculture continues.

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Everyday stewardship on the farm

Everyday stewardship on the farm

By Gary Joiner

I like green. It’s a color that epitomizes positive growth. Optimism.

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations across the country proudly showcase the color.

Green is also associated with environmental stewardship. And this week’s National Ag Day had a healthy shade of the color with its theme of Agriculture: Stewards of a Healthy Planet.

The stewardship reach and impact of our farmers and ranchers is nothing short of amazing.

Our state has 170 million acres of land. About 130 million acres of it is used in agriculture.

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Grilling beef in the Land of Oz

Grilling beef in the Land of Oz

By Gary Joiner

Television viewers were once again taken to the Land of Oz.

But this time the yellow brick road led to a place where misinformation spewed about U.S. beef production. Behind the curtain was Dr. Mehmet Oz, a surgeon and host of the syndicated program, the Dr. Oz Show.

The episode explored grass-fed vs. grain-fed beef. It suggested that grass-fed beef is healthier because of the way the animals are raised. Conventional production practices were largely criticized throughout the show.

No surprise here. The great Oz often denounces how conventional food is raised.

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