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5 family farm facts you should know

5 family farm facts you should know

By Mike Barnett

Family farm. Two words Americans love. With good reason.

Family means many things. Loving. Caring. Nurturing.

All apply to the family farmers I know. Too bad there are many misconceptions about what family farms are and aren’t.

Could be many of us are far removed from farm life. Some think of family farms as idyllic—a small place where the sun always shines, with chickens and cows, a patch of corn and a vegetable garden.

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Moving beyond the fencepost

Moving beyond the fencepost

By Nathan Smith

A group of Texans visited our nation’s capital last week. We walked snow-covered streets and through the halls of the U.S. House of Representatives’ offices. We met with congressmen and staffers. We discussed agricultural policy.

Staring out my D.C. hotel window at the inches of snow, I thought of farmers and ranchers back home.

They never hesitate to brave the elements for their crops and livestock. They are experts on animal health and crop science. They are committed to making the best and safest product possible. And they do it year after year. Despite volatile markets and weather that changes as often as farm policy.

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5 beefy reasons lean meat should be in your diet

5 beefy reasons lean meat should be in your diet

By Mike Barnett

So we need to eat less red meat. That’s what the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee says.

That’s a group of “experts” who get together every five years and make recommendations on what Americans should and should not eat. Although there will be a public comment period with an opportunity to change, their conclusions are confusing. And a bit misleading.

The good news is you can drink more coffee, eat more eggs and don’t have to worry much about dietary cholesterol. The bad news is, while they said lean meat can be part of a healthy diet, they recommend eating less of it.

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The beef checkoff works for ranchers–every day

The beef checkoff works for ranchers–every day

By Dave Edmiston,

Chairman, Texas Beef Promotion and Research Council

The Texas beef checkoff has been passed and implemented and new dollars are funding our beef promotion and research efforts. Yet some individuals continue to spread misinformation when it comes to this self-help effort. Since most of the claims and arguments I hear against the Texas beef checkoff are false or misleading, I’d like the truth to be out there.

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EPA rule withdrawal only a tiny step

EPA rule withdrawal only a tiny step

By Gene Hall

Some agencies of the federal government have learned that a “carrot and stick” approach often works. Proposed changes in the Clean Water Act by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) amount to “stick and bigger stick.”

Sometimes you see the “carrot” in enforcement of the Endangered Species Act. Things like Safe Harbor and habitat mitigation mean having a species does not force landowners out of business. Then, other things become possible.

The EPA will move forward with a vast expansion of the agency’s regulatory power with changes in the Clean Water Act. Perhaps as an olive branch, EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently announced the withdrawal of their waters of the U.S. “interpretive rule.”

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Biotech is here to stay, in medicine and food

Biotech is here to stay, in medicine and food

By Gene Hall

When we go to the doctor, we tend to listen, aware of the training, knowledge and expertise behind those letters.

“M.D.” We say, “Make me well.”

It would never occur to us to say, “Make me well the way doctors did three generations ago.” Medicine’s come a long way since then.

Biotech research in cows has yielded positive results in changing the properties of milk for human consumption.
It may be possible to cure deadly diseases as a result of similar bovine genome research.

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