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Consumers and farmers: Be safe during planting season

Consumers and farmers: Be safe during planting season

By Gene Hall

Safety—for farmers and their city neighbors—is our top concern as spring planting gets underway.

When it stops raining in Texas—and we all know it will—the huge planting machines of agriculture will start rolling. Our ever-expanding urban lifestyle gobbles up countryside, reaching into areas that were once very rural. Now, these roads are heavily traveled. That means we’ll see tractors and planters on the highways with us.

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Moving beyond the fencepost

Moving beyond the fencepost

By Nathan Smith

A group of Texans visited our nation’s capital last week. We walked snow-covered streets and through the halls of the U.S. House of Representatives’ offices. We met with congressmen and staffers. We discussed agricultural policy.

Staring out my D.C. hotel window at the inches of snow, I thought of farmers and ranchers back home.

They never hesitate to brave the elements for their crops and livestock. They are experts on animal health and crop science. They are committed to making the best and safest product possible. And they do it year after year. Despite volatile markets and weather that changes as often as farm policy.

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EPA rule withdrawal only a tiny step

EPA rule withdrawal only a tiny step

By Gene Hall

Some agencies of the federal government have learned that a “carrot and stick” approach often works. Proposed changes in the Clean Water Act by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) amount to “stick and bigger stick.”

Sometimes you see the “carrot” in enforcement of the Endangered Species Act. Things like Safe Harbor and habitat mitigation mean having a species does not force landowners out of business. Then, other things become possible.

The EPA will move forward with a vast expansion of the agency’s regulatory power with changes in the Clean Water Act. Perhaps as an olive branch, EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently announced the withdrawal of their waters of the U.S. “interpretive rule.”

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5 reasons to be an ag grad

5 reasons to be an ag grad

By Mike Barnett

Spring is closing in fast and thoughts of high school juniors and seniors turn to the future. Many will go to college. And many have no clue what to study.

That’s okay. It’s hard to decide at age 18 what to do with your life. It was the same for me. I was two years into college before I decided to pursue a degree in agriculture.

I have no regrets. Agriculture has been good to me. And it can be good for you. Maybe you should consider being an ag grad.

Here are five reasons why:

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Time to step up political activism

Time to step up political activism

By Russell Boening

Texas Farm Bureau President

It is my great honor to be selected president of Texas Farm Bureau by the voting delegates at our Corpus Christi convention. As that all sinks in, I’m eager to get started. We have a big job ahead, and there are many challenges.

To start with, it’s a legislative year. As a farmer, I know about taking care of the land and preparing the ground for a new crop. In only a few days, our elected representatives will return to Austin. That in itself is challenging, and we have to be ready. We will study the issues and develop relationships with state officials. Many of them have never been part of state government before. Others are now in a completely different role.

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