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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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Not Utopia, but “conventional agriculture” is sustainable

West of San Antonio in Uvalde County is the community of Utopia. Nestled along the banks of the picturesque Sabinal River, it was home to 241 souls at the time of the 2000 Census. A visit there is a close as you’ll like get to any sort of utopia – “an imaginary place considered perfect or ideal.”

I think of this analogy often when considering the state of modern conventional agriculture in America. Recently, the USDA’s Natural Resources Texas Farm Bureau:Conservation Service released its 2007 Natural Resources Inventory. This massive data collection effort is done in 10 year intervals. It reflects a situation, while not utopia, that has consistently hit the ever moving target of “sustainability.”

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Dr. Borlaug left the world a much better place

Texas Farm Bureau: Dr. Borlaug left the world a much better place

The voice of a giant has been forever stilled, but oh, what he left behind!  Dr. Norman Borlaug died on September 12 at age 95.  Doing meaningful work in his ninth decade of life, Dr. Borlaug was professor emeritus at my alma mater, Texas A&M University.  He is the father of the Green Revolution and there are not many developments in the world that have meant more.

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Mom would have loved industrial agriculture

Texas Farm Bureau: Industrial Agriculture

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

Here’s what those words mean to me.

Read More
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