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GMOs are saving Hawaiian farms and forests from extinction

GMOs are saving Hawaiian farms and forests from extinction

By Joni Kamiya

More evidence is cropping up all the time to support the environmentally friendly nature of biotech seeds and crops. As we’ve learned in Hawaii, GM papayas are a great example of how biotechnology keeps forests intact and decreases the amount of pesticides needed to grow marketable fruits. I call this “GMOrganic” because it’s earth-friendly, farmer-friendly and good for the consumer.

Our three-generation farm has been growing papayas since the 1960s and continues to grow this delicious, highly sought after Hawaiian staple. The papaya is a fruit that many locals buy religiously, every week for years. But for a long time, this local favorite was under constant threat.

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5 things ag is doing wrong (and how to correct them)

5 things ag is doing wrong (and how to correct them)

By Mike Barnett

When it comes to new machinery, new cropping methods or new herbicides and pesticides, farmers and ranchers are on top of their game.

No doubt that’s why American agriculture is the most progressive in the world.

Not so much, though, when it comes to communicating. We have work to do. Farmers and ranchers have talked about “educating” the public for all of my 30-year career in Farm Bureau.

Truth. The public doesn’t want to be “educated.” They want answers. To their concerns about food. How you grow it. And what you do to ensure their family’s safety.

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Save the Monarch butterfly

Save the Monarch butterfly

By Gary Joiner

They’re back! The annual Monarch butterfly migration has arrived. “There were literally thousands, coming in big and small bands like snow flurries…” is how one Concho Valley resident described the return.

Monarchs are moving down from northern latitudes. Their destination is overwintering sites in Mexico. Texas is the only state that all Monarchs must cross. And we’re seeing peak migration now. The Monarch is the only butterfly known to make a two-way migration as birds do. Some fly as far as 3,000 miles to reach their winter home.

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Cow burps: The rest of the story

Cow burps: The rest of the story

By Gene Hall

I’m a little miffed by a recent opinion video on CNN, “Why Beef is the New SUV.” It’s very fashionable to attack beef—all livestock really—and the reasons are not always transparent. But, give me the freedom to cherry pick the data I want to use, and I can spin a pretty good yarn.

According to the EPA, about 1.5 percent of greenhouse gasses are attributable to cows burping and, well, expending gas. That means that if you were to launch every cow in the world into high orbit around the sun, you’d be left with essentially the same greenhouse gas problem that you have in the first place.

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A farmer’s view of the Clean Water Act

A farmer’s view of the Clean Water Act

By Russell Boening
TFB President

As a fourth generation farmer in South Texas, you could say that I make my living with water. My crops will not grow without it. Our dairy cows will not give milk without enough fresh, clean water.

I use what we call “best management practices,” meaning that we comply with label directions, use conservation methods and other tools of modern agriculture. We also plant biotech crops. That means we use fewer and smaller amounts of chemicals than we needed two decades ago.

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5 reasons to support the GMO labeling act

5 reasons to support the GMO labeling act

By Mike Barnett

Watching the anti-GMO forces rally against the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, recently passed by the House Agriculture Committee, reminds me of a dog chasing its tail.

They whirl with unexplainable passion in pursuit of an elusive goal. The end, pardon the pun, is always in sight. But it is never achieved.

It’s disconcerting to me. The anti-GMO forces have worked through many states to get mandatory labeling of GMO products. They’ve been successful in Vermont.

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