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Spring means property tax deadlines

Spring means property tax deadlines

By Gary Joiner

Taxes are on the minds of many Texans right now. “Tax Day” is April 15. It’s the deadline to file a federal individual tax return or request a filing extension.

Texas landowners are also thinking about property taxes this time of year. Many are completing applications and forms in advance of an important May 1 deadline. It’s the day farmers and ranchers must have filed paperwork with their local appraisal district to qualify for a special property valuation.

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Agriculture’s ROI on social media

Agriculture’s ROI on social media

By Mike Barnett

I often wonder why farmers and ranchers are slow to adopt social media. Agriculture is making progress in this revolutionary way of communication. But we still have a long way to go.

I consider farmers and ranchers may be intimidated by computers. But that doesn’t make sense because agriculture is always quick to adopt technology. Then I think they are buffaloed by the complexity of social media. But that’s not the answer, because it is fairly simple.

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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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‘Rural’ means a true sense of community

‘Rural’ means a true sense of community

By Mike Barnett

I was out in the country last Friday in South Central Texas on a photography project, riding the roads while desperately searching the radio for something worth listening. I scrolled through pop, new country, rap, Christian and talk shows, and then I hit gold.

Ray Price was crooning For the Good Times, and I knew I was going to stay here a while. The station was KLBG-AM and KBUK-FM in LaGrange, and let me tell you, it’s a good one.

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New addition to Texas Agriculture Talks

New addition to Texas Agriculture Talks

By Gary Joiner

Hello, I’m Gary Joiner. I’m the new Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) associate director of Public Relations – Strategic Communication.

Although I may not have had the pleasure of meeting you yet, I’m someone that you already know, in a sense. I’m part of the 98 percent of Americans who do not make their living growing food and fiber but have a profound appreciation and respect for those who do. Count me among the vast segment of our population who strongly trusts farmers and ranchers. I believe in the public values of private land stewardship, and I understand the critical importance of U.S. agriculture to our economy, national security and to our rural way of life.

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