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Texas Agriculture Talks: Top 10 blogs for 2013

Texas Agriculture Talks: Top 10 blogs for 2013

By Mike Barnett

2013 is gone but not forgotten. But it soon will be as we dig deeper into the New Year.

I decided to look back at 2013 through the eyes of Texas Agriculture Talks, posting the 10 favorite columns as decided by you, our readers. Gene Hall and I started the blog in 2009 to provide a proactive voice for agriculture, whose methods were being chopped apart by groups and individuals with an ax to grind. We found our voice in those tough beginning years. And although we’ve mellowed a bit with age, we’re not afraid to speak out—loudly—for all the farmers and ranchers who raise food and fiber. We’ve since expanded our efforts to include guest bloggers.

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I don’t like spiders and snakes—or drones—or PETA!

I don’t like spiders and snakes—or drones—or PETA!

By Gene Hall

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey killed a spider  in front of school kids a few days ago. As far as I know, no arrests have been made in that “spidercide.” No articles of impeachment have yet been introduced against the governor. Sure, folks at the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are upset. Darn.

If there is any action in which nearly 100 percent of the adult population of the world has engaged, it’s the swatting and subsequent crushing of a spider. I’ve done it. My wife is most aggressive at it. It’s a sight to see.

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HSUS fundraising confusing to those who support animal care

HSUS fundraising confusing to those who support animal care

The animal shelter here in Waco, Texas, is in trouble.  Donations are down and more pets are abandoned in this bad economy. Many people think the bulging war chest of the wealthy Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) might ease these situations, which are occurring all over the nation.  Not likely.

In Sunday’s Waco Tribune-Herald is a letter to the editor from Diana Culp, claiming to be a former director with HSUS.  She refers to “common misconceptions” that national animal groups are “umbrella groups for pet shelters.”  Culp says they are not and in fact send only one percent of the funds they collect to local pet shelters.

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All vegetarian by 2050? Not so fast

All vegetarian by 2050? Not so fast

By Gene Hall

Bad news, meat lovers: We’ll all be vegetarians by the year 2050 because we’ll run out of water to produce livestock. That’s the theory in this article on Yahoo.

 These sweeping and absolute statements can be a lot more about someone’s agenda than futuristic forecasting. When you see something like this, you should ask, “Who doesn’t want anyone eating meat?” Or, “Who wants a grant to study livestock and water supplies?”

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HSUS takes out after Beef Checkoff

HSUS takes out after Beef Checkoff

By Gene Hall

What’s an animal rights organization like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) doing in a legal battle over the Beef Checkoff?

HSUS has decided to involve itself in a lawsuit that includes an officer of the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM), USDA, the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). HSUS has inserted itself into what could be interpreted as an internal beef business squabble.

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