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Profit is not a four-letter word

Profit is not a four-letter word

This blog was originally posted on Dec. 10, 2012. 

By Mike Barnett

Your profitability as a farmer or rancher ranks low on the list of concerns of those who consume your products. I call them customers.

I’ve noted this fact in a survey or two and was reminded of it the other day when a Facebook friend posted some tidbits he had read from an article in the excellent publication Livestock Weekly.

According to the article, consumers believe the priorities for those farmers and ranchers who genuinely try to make a living from agriculture should, from first to last, be:

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Agriculture…It IS rocket science!

Agriculture…It IS rocket science!

By Mike Barnett

Innovation. Foresight. Technology. Know-how. It took equal parts to put a man on the moon. It takes equal parts to put food on your table.

A challenge that has never been shirked by the American farmer. It’s not easy feeding 321 million Americans three squares 365. At a cost that continues to rise, but by no means breaks the budget. And have enough left over to feed millions more.

It’s an immense test. And responsibility. Because failure means food insecurity. And a hungry nation.

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5 things you should know about the EPA WOTUS rule

5 things you should know about the EPA WOTUS rule

By Mike Barnett

$37,500. Per incident. Per day. Per violation.

Does that grab your attention? It should.

That’s what you could be fined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) if you have an unauthorized discharge of “pollutants” from your farmland that requires a Clean Water Act (CWA) permit. It’s all part of the new rule recently issued by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers defining waters of the U.S. (WOTUS). It expands the federal CWA jurisdiction over many landscape features found on farm, ranch and forest lands across the nation. The rule is expected to go into effect Aug. 28.

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Are you a real cowboy?

Are you a real cowboy?

This Texas Agriculture Talks post was originally published on Jan. 21, 2013.

By Mike Barnett

Cowboys: Real deal or pseudo? How do you tell?

I thought about that over the weekend as I settled on the movie Urban Cowboy while flipping channels on the tube.

“Are you a real cowboy?” Sissy, played by Debra Winger, asked.

“Well, that depends on what you think a real cowboy is,” answered Bud, portrayed by a young John Travolta.

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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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