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Pray El Niño pays Texas a visit

Pray El Niño pays Texas a visit

By Kenneth Dierschke
TFB President

I read recently that climatologists are predicting a 70 percent chance for El Niño to develop this year in the Pacific Ocean. I hope they are wrong. What we need is a 100 percent chance.

El Niño is the warming of the central and eastern Pacific Oceans. It alters the jet stream flow across the United States and helps bring wetter-than-normal weather to Texas.

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Insects: Coming to a plate near you

Insects: Coming to a plate near you

By Mike Barnett

Don’t look now but insects may be coming to a plate near you.

I’ve seen several reports in the news lately about bugs becoming a source to meet global food challenges. Although some cultures depend on insects for protein, they are considered a “poor man’s” diet, according to one entomophagy expert. Entomophagy is a fancy word for the study of eating insects.

Which is growing in popularity. At least that’s what Arnold van Huis says, who is organizing the first international conference to address whether insects can feed the world.

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Hey, EPA, it’s time to ditch the rule!

Hey, EPA, it’s time to ditch the rule!

By Mike Barnett

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) attempt to clarify the Clean Water Act (CWA) is muddying the water for farmers and ranchers in Texas and across the U.S.

That’s not much of a surprise knowing EPA’s history, but their new proposed rule could be bad news for your land use decisions and farming practices.

The CWA was established to give EPA and the Corps the authority to regulate navigable waters, such as interstate rivers.  The law calls these “waters of the U.S.” State and local governments have jurisdiction over smaller, more remote waters, such as ponds and isolated wetlands, because state and local governments are more accountable to their citizens.

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Golden Rice–A compelling moral argument for food biotechnology

Golden Rice–A compelling moral argument for food biotechnology

By Gene Hall

Anti-GMO food activists are among the angriest and most mistrustful people in the world. I get the trust issues. It’s that kind of world, but I often wish we could put aside the anger for reasonable discussions.

I do not pretend to be a scientist, but I’ve studied this a lot. This issue comes into very sharp focus on the question of Golden Rice. We have the technology to introduce beta carotene and therefore Vitamin A into rice at the genetic level. Many children in the poorer regions of the world suffer from Vitamin A deficiency. They go blind from it. They are dying from it. We can fix a lot of that. The question is, “Why would we not?”

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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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Safe. From our farm to your table.

Safe. From our farm to your table.

By Shannon Sparks

Being a mother isn’t always easy. But it’s always worth it.

You want the best for your children, but sometimes you question the decisions you make. Do we buy the expensive baby swing or do we opt for the more economical one? What are the right food choices for nutrition and safety? Am I teaching my children the proper skills at the proper time?

The one thing I’ve always known was right was the decision my husband and I made to raise our children on our farm.

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