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The American farmer: Growing capitalism

The American farmer: Growing capitalism

By Layne and Jamie Chapman

Feral chickens, hand-pulled kale and a steer fed to perfection that is marketed in its home state. What do they all have in common? Capitalism.

These products were introduced into a functioning market to better a company’s financial standing and to capitalize on a situation. They are also part of modern agriculture. Grocery stores of all kinds have found different routes of product differentiation and market themselves according to what they think the consumer needs. The new consumer is targeted well after the raw products have left the hands of a farmer or rancher, who are commonly so removed from the consumer that they are often misrepresented by the advertising of the product. The ones determining how the end product is situated in the market are no more connected to the product than the chicken that came in the bag.

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Telling ‘the’ story or telling ‘a’ story?

Telling ‘the’ story or telling ‘a’ story?

By Gene Hall

Does it bother anyone but me that a major restaurant chain is using made-up themes, complete with scripts, to attack agriculture? Such is the case with Chipotle, a company that has made attacking farmers and ranchers a part of their marketing strategy.

Cartoon scarecrows and exploding cows abound in their online fantasy land. This somehow proves that modern agriculture is a “bad thing?” I guess it’s funny in a mean-spirited kind of way. That’s the thing about a script. It can turn out however you like.

Reality has no script. Serious people deal with reality. Unserious people write a script they like better.

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Bangladesh farmers welcome GM Eggplant

Bangladesh farmers welcome GM Eggplant

By Gene Hall

What I remember most about eggplant is that my grandmother would make me eat it. In parts of the world, it’s very popular. One of those places is Bangladesh, where a new genetically modified variety is well on its way to being planted there.

It’s called brinjal and it’s a nutritional boon, being high in fiber and a whole passel of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The problem is, the fruit and shoot borer (FSB) likes brinjal, too, to the tune of a 50 to 70 percent loss of the crop. Farmers in Bangladesh have been dealing with that by spraying pesticides, apparently a lot of them. Though judicious use of pesticides is a globally accepted best management practice, spraying dozens of times is not what experts or even chemical companies recommend on most crops.

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Growing five generations of sustainability

Growing five generations of sustainability

By Colin and Laura Chopelas

Every week, it seems there is a new fad or breaking news story on television or the internet.  What happens in the rest of the world can instantly be news in America. The words of our politicians can move commodities or stock markets thousands of miles away.  Some of these issues can inadvertently undermine the hard work and long hours that every American farming family endures daily.

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Voters said ‘Yes’ for the future of Texas

Voters said ‘Yes’ for the future of Texas

By Mike Barnett

Despite last minute attempts to dampen support, a flood of positive votes ensured passage of Proposition 6, the important water funding constitutional amendment on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Proposition 6 is not a panacea for a serious problem, but it is the huge first step in ensuring water for Texas’ future. The 73 to 27 percent margin by which it passed shows that if you challenge Texans, they will tackle problems head on instead of shifting blame or leaving them for future generations to solve.

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Water grows Texas for families, jobs and food

Water grows Texas for families, jobs and food

By Ken Hodges

Water grows Texas for families, jobs and food. Tomorrow, Texans will make a decision on the future of this precious resource for the Lone Star State.

Proposition 6, if passed, will provide a funding mechanism to address Texas’ growing water needs in a fiscally responsible manner. Projects eligible for financial assistance must come from the 16 locally controlled Regional Water Planning Groups that cover the entire state.

Here are 10 reasons you should vote for Proposition 6:

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