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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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IARC—A study in absurdity

IARC—A study in absurdity

By Gene Hall

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization (WHO), has something of a credibility problem. That agency just released a report saying that processed meat is a definite carcinogen and red meat is “probably carcinogenic.” IARC’s classification with four groups is confusing and misleading.

In that Group 1 category, you have, among other things, cigarettes, asbestos, a host of very powerful chemicals and salami, bacon and cocktail weenies. It’s okay, you can say it. This is absurd. Processed meats are on the list because if you eat that every single day, cancer experts say you can increase your cancer risk by 1 percent. That’s not exactly like plutonium, is it?

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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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Profit is not a four-letter word

Profit is not a four-letter word

This blog was originally posted on Dec. 10, 2012. 

By Mike Barnett

Your profitability as a farmer or rancher ranks low on the list of concerns of those who consume your products. I call them customers.

I’ve noted this fact in a survey or two and was reminded of it the other day when a Facebook friend posted some tidbits he had read from an article in the excellent publication Livestock Weekly.

According to the article, consumers believe the priorities for those farmers and ranchers who genuinely try to make a living from agriculture should, from first to last, be:

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What? A meatless corny dog? You’re kidding!

What? A meatless corny dog? You’re kidding!

By Gene Hall

No, I guess they are not. The State Fair of Texas will serve meatless corny dogs for this first time at this year’s event.

A Fletcher’s corny dog at the State Fair of Texas is, for that brief moment in time, “Texas on a stick.” It’s a rite of passage. A Texas moment that can even be experienced by those of you “not from around here.”

The news of a meatless corny dog shook me up a bit. I like veggies as much as the next omnivore and I salute the farmers who grew the ingredients for this experiment. But a corny dog without meat is like church without a prayer. You kind of know you’re there, but leave feeling a bit empty.

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