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Share the good stuff!

Share the good stuff!

By Gene Hall

A typical conversation with a farmer or rancher about social media might go something like this:

“Hey, I enjoyed your blog last week.”

“Very good,” I might answer. “Did you share it?”

“Ah, no, but I ‘liked’ it,” referring to the Facebook button for that purpose.

All that is fine as it lets us know someone read enough of the work to have an opinion. However, being effective in social media, especially Facebook, has three levels.

The “like” is the simple click of a button.

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Time to step up political activism

Time to step up political activism

By Russell Boening

Texas Farm Bureau President

It is my great honor to be selected president of Texas Farm Bureau by the voting delegates at our Corpus Christi convention. As that all sinks in, I’m eager to get started. We have a big job ahead, and there are many challenges.

To start with, it’s a legislative year. As a farmer, I know about taking care of the land and preparing the ground for a new crop. In only a few days, our elected representatives will return to Austin. That in itself is challenging, and we have to be ready. We will study the issues and develop relationships with state officials. Many of them have never been part of state government before. Others are now in a completely different role.

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My favorite photos from 2014

My favorite photos from 2014

By Mike Barnett

Photography’s my passion. It allows me to capture special moments, times and places and keep those memories forever. It just happens to coincide with my other passions: agriculture and rural Texas. There are so many great stories to tell and what better way than through pictures.

Here are some of my personal favorites—a month-to-month journey through 2014.

 

January. I am fortunate to live right down the street from Lake Waco. I make it a habit to go outside every night before sunset and check the sky. I knew this was going to be a good one. Spectacular clouds and light.

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10 things you should know about Texas agriculture

10 things you should know about Texas agriculture

By Mike Barnett

Everything’s bigger and better in Texas. Even agriculture.

Most Texans know our ranchers herd more cattle and farmers grow more cotton than those in any other state. But you are probably not aware of many other fascinating aspects of agriculture in the Lone Star State.

Here’s my Top 10, gleaned from the 2012 Agriculture Census .

10) Fun on the farm.

Texas farms and ranches account for 19 percent of agri-tourism and recreation dollars in the U.S.  That means $133 million flows into rural areas as Texans enjoy wineries, hunting, ranches and other experiences.

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GMO state labeling initiatives are shut out

GMO state labeling initiatives are shut out

By Gene Hall

There were two mandatory labeling issues for GMOs on state ballots Tuesday. Both were defeated.

In Oregon, the labeling measure was barely turned back with a 51 percent “no” vote. In Colorado, it was much more decisive with a 66 percent “no.”

In Hawaii—Maui to be exact—there was a local initiative to ban growing GMO crops altogether. It passed. As yet unexplained is the rationale, because these votes are not based on anything rational. GMO papaya is resistant to ringspot virus, and the non-GMO kind probably can’t be grown there. But hey, that’s someone else’s problem, right?

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Businesses derailed by UP action

Businesses derailed by UP action

By Mike Barnett

Terry Buzbee watched pickups roll into his feed store for 32 years. He built Buzbee Feed & Seed, located off busy Highway 6 just east of Waco, into a thriving business. But it doesn’t thrive anymore.

What he sees now are customers pulling up to a blockaded entrance. And moving on.

It’s a hardship for his patrons, who now must navigate their way on a dangerous, narrow back road to buy their feed. It’s a corporate decision for Union Pacific, who closed the railroad crossing, denying access to the business.

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