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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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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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5 reasons to support the GMO labeling act

5 reasons to support the GMO labeling act

By Mike Barnett

Watching the anti-GMO forces rally against the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, recently passed by the House Agriculture Committee, reminds me of a dog chasing its tail.

They whirl with unexplainable passion in pursuit of an elusive goal. The end, pardon the pun, is always in sight. But it is never achieved.

It’s disconcerting to me. The anti-GMO forces have worked through many states to get mandatory labeling of GMO products. They’ve been successful in Vermont.

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Climate Change Regulation: Scarier than climate change?

Climate Change Regulation:  Scarier than climate change?

By Gene Hall

Only minutes after President Obama announced his new climate change regulatory plan, I was swamped with calls from the media asking for comment. Not knowing much about it then, I said that farmers and ranchers would examine the legislation for clues about the future and continue seeking ways to reduce carbon pollution.

We now know the plan, implemented almost entirely by executive order, might also be called, “choke the life of whatever feeble economic recovery we’ve managed so far.”  I’m ready to say I don’t like much about it at all.

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Selling the crisis of climate change

Selling the crisis of climate change

By Gene Hall

The Obama Administration is again making noises on regulating climate change and, as usual, some are selling it as a crisis.

 In talking with farmers and ranchers who have been on the land for multiple generations, I’ve seen a reluctance to agree that droughts should be blamed on manmade activity. Their family history reports many droughts, some more severe than the current batch. Farmers are also suspicious that they will be the first to feel the pinch of aggressive efforts to regulate carbon emissions. There is something to that. Great strides have been made with conservation tillage and no-till, but very few have found a way to produce a crop without driving across a field.

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