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Big Brother is watching the farm and his name is EPA

Big Brother is watching the farm and his name is EPA

By Mike Barnett

Big Brother is watching the farm and his name is EPA.

In this age of free-flowing information, when most anything can be found in cyberspace, it’s a little disconcerting that government knows the most intimate details of your family, finances and business. It’s downright alarming when they release that information to those who might do you harm.

Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released personal information about thousands of livestock and poultry farmers and ranchers in 20 states in response to Freedom of Information Act requests from three environmental organizations. The massive data release included home phone numbers, home emails, employee contact information, home addresses, GPS coordinates and, in some cases, personal notes about the families, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).

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Agricultural labor has no ‘one size fits all’ solution

Agricultural labor has no ‘one size fits all’ solution

By Gene Hall

I am a big fan of Dr. Thomas Sowell, a free market economist, except when he starts talking about agricultural labor and immigration reform.

Dr. Sowell’s support of the free market is something I appreciate most of the time. His latest article, however, challenging a “need” for workers in agriculture, has missed the target. He wrote that we don’t need immigration reform and a guest worker program for agriculture. In his opinion, paying more for labor will get you plenty of American workers.

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Reflections in a Rain Puddle

Reflections in a Rain Puddle

By Si Cook

TFB Organization Director

I was in South Texas the last weekend in April trying to accomplish a week’s worth of ranch work in one day. On Saturday, my time was cut short by a strange and wonderful event–a three-and-a-half inch rain!

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Animal care is my responsibility

Animal care is my responsibility

By Justin Dauer

I’m often puzzled by the notion that livestock are abused in pursuit of the almighty dollar.

I know some of that sentiment is generated by images seen on television or the internet of animal mistreatment. Just to set the record straight, I think anyone who abuses livestock should be out of the business. I do not condone abuse of any animal for any reason. Neither do the other farmers and ranchers I know.

But I can tell you about the welfare of my livestock.

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In agriculture, labels matter—until they don’t

In agriculture, labels matter—until they don’t

By Gene Hall

In my more cynical moments, I suspect that the great confusion and controversy surrounding agriculture today is on purpose.

In this mindset, I can easily conclude that those organizations that survive by demonizing modern agriculture manipulate the language and the labels to suit their own purposes. In this way, passions are inflamed. Money is raised. A public is misled. Calling you “Big Ag” could mean “Big Bucks” for me even though all I’ve contributed to the debate are a couple of politically charged words.

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