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A high-tech world for everyone but farmers? Get real.

By Mike Barnett

Texas Farm Bureau:A high-tech world for everyone but farmers? Get real.

Am I going nuts?

Okay, don’t answer that.

But the food crazies are driving me insane. Seems that every production practice modern agriculture uses is condemned by some group out there who thinks the world would be rosy if we would only go back to the good old days.

I heard Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples the other night say that modern agriculture is as technically advanced as the Silicon Valley. And he’s right.

Yet many food crazies long for the days of 40 acres and a mule and human cotton-picking machines. What’s this world coming to?

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Mom would have loved industrial agriculture: Redux

Industrial Agriculture


By Mike Barnett

Administrator’s note: This blog post originally ran in Texas Agriculture Talks on Aug. 24, 2009 and was named Best Editorial in recent American Farm Bureau Federation Awards competition (large state Farm Bureaus). Enjoy.

Industrial” and “sustainable” are words thrown around freely when discussing agriculture in the ongoing food debate.

Here’s what those words mean to me.

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Time for agriculture to start a food revolution

I’m having an ongoing discussion about the food we eat and how it’s raised with one of my childhood friends.

Texas Farm Bureau:

 We friended each other on the social media site Facebook. She started reading my blog posts on Texas Agriculture Talks and we’ve been carrying on a lively discussion about food ever since.

This lady is sharp, smart and has a real interest in the food she feeds her family. She wants their nourishment to be healthy, wholesome and affordable. She’s getting her food education from the likes of Joel Salatin, Michael Pollan and the documentary, Food Inc. And that spells trouble for our industry.

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Organic vs. industrial, cage eggs vs. free-range: We’re all in this together

Texas Agriculture...Organic vs. Indusrial Agriculture

By Mike Barnett

Which came first…the chicken or the free-range egg?

And does it matter?

A recent survey from Information Resources Inc (IRI), which tracks checkout scanner transactions from 34,000 grocery and other retail stores in the United States, shows that 92 percent of eggs purchased by consumers in 2009 were from cage operations, 2 percent were from cage-free operations and 1 percent were from free-range/organic operations. The remaining 5 percent of eggs were other specialty eggs. Percentages were unchanged from 2008.

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Factory farming not so bad after all

I’ve been thinking lately about the term “factory farm.” I know it angers animal agriculture producers, and it hacks me off, too—I think because it’s spit out of the mouths and keyboards of agriculture’s enemies like a vile and evil thing. Perhaps we overreact. It’s past time I looked into this. Maybe it’s not such a bad thing overall.Texas Farm Bureau: Factory farms not so bad after all

The Internet is such a handy tool. It’s almost like an information factory. It would have taken hours with my old Webster’s to find all the appropriate definitions, but it took only minutes online. Here’s what several online dictionaries had to say about a “factory.”

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