They're Serving Up a Pastoral Fantasy; But Small Farms Aren't the Answer to Every Agricultural Crisis
"Roughly a million animals have been slaughtered so far in the foot-and-mouth epidemic that is ravaging Britain's farms. And, in what has become an increasingly familiar pattern whenever a problem appears in the business of raising food, the seemingly uncontrollable spread of the disease is seen by many as proof of the dangers inherent in large-scale, high-technology, globally interdependent agriculture." First published in the Washington Post and reproduced with the author's permission.
State-by-state welfare legislation not solution
"Is state-by-state legislation of farm animal welfare good for animals? Is it even good for people? It has been suggested that recent legislation such as Proposition 2 in California will promote farm animal well-being simply by mandating greater freedom of movement for animals. There are merits to this argument. However, science and common sense suggest that there may be problems as well. Some have indicated that animal welfare may instead be worsened." Reproduced with the publisher's permission.
Dairy Farmers of Britain
Stop Telling Porkies. British kids fail to connect food to farm
"The average eight-year-old might know how to email people and use internet search engines, yet millions of British kids don't know which animals their food comes from, according to new research by Dairy Farmers of Britain. The findings reveal that thousands of today's 8-year-olds think that cows lay eggs."
Still Feeding the World: Norman Borlaug just turned 94 - and is still going strong
"This Iowa farm boy and University of Minnesota agriculture graduate lived Thomas Edison's maxim to the fullest. 'Invention,' Edison once remarked, 'is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.' Dr. Borlaug did most of his 99% in the sweltering fields of Africa, India, Mexico and Pakistan." Reproduced with permission.
Gumbel, Andrew and John Lichfield
An ending made in Hollywood for an epic fight over foie gras
"The headlines proclaim that Arnold Schwarzenegger has saved the geese of California from cruelty. But is the ancient delicacy really off the menu?" asks this report for The Independent. Reproduced with permission. (This article is categorized under Birds)
Sheep shearing and woolly minds
"Animal 'lovers' have complained, and the organisers of the Kent County Show have caved in. There will be no more public sheep shearing competitions at this annual event 'in case the sheep are cut'. The bleating complainants will think this progress. Farmers say it is one more example of the lack of understanding between town and country. They are both wrong." (This article is categorized under Ovines)
Hill, P.J., and Shawn Regan
The Great Plains: Tragedy or triumph?
"At the end of the 19th century, historians declared that the American frontier had closed. The Homestead Act had caused population density in the West to exceed two people per square mile - the metric the census used to gauge frontier status. ... Now, more than a hundred years later, the Great Plains are experiencing Manifest Destiny in reverse - people are leaving in droves."
To underestimate farmers, ranchers is a serious mistake
"If animal rights and modern U.S. food production are adversaries, then, as in any competition, it's the fool who underestimates the opposition. To disdain the animal rights movement is neither to dismiss it nor to misunderstand what confronts us. It is the manifestation of farmer/rancher distrust of and frustration with a political movement that demonstrates daily that it does not care to understand the implications of its philosophy and/or its actions on the viability of food producers and the actual welfare of animals or its negative impact on both national and global food security." Reproduced with the publisher's permission.
Farm Aid Fraud
"Groups like Farm Aid and Willie Nelson are doing more to get rid of farmers than to benefit them. Farm Aid funds are siphoned into groups that are filing lawsuits against family farms. Nearly a dozen lawsuits have been filed against families in Iowa. In Minnesota, I personally know three families with lawsuits against them for operating a livestock facility or hoping to build one." Reproduced with the author's permission.
What ag must understand
"One of the first principles one learns in athletics is to know one's opponent. Every football team watches footage of their upcoming adversaries; every boxer studies videos of potential opponents to learn, in an anticipatory way, their weaknesses and strengths. If an athlete or team did not so prepare, we would seriously question not only their ability but also their desire to win. As for burgeoning societal issues regarding animal welfare, the animal agriculture community has behaved like the foolish athlete in a manner disdainful of its adversaries." Reproduced with the publisher's permission.
Survival of the sea turtle; Cayman turtle farm starts over
"The first chapter of the Cayman Turtle Farm story did not end happily. But a new phase in this fabled effort to protect wild sea turtles has begun." Reproduced with permission of the author and the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC). (This article is categorized under Turtles)
"Big Meat" and Big Government. Subsidies and regs are the culprits
"Ranchers are a fairly independent bunch. We don't like overweening authority and prefer to fend for ourselves. We also find few things more objectionable than sitting endlessly indoors. Nevertheless, 2,000 of us did just that a few months ago in the ballroom of Colorado State University. If the setting wasn't exactly invigorating, the topic was even less so: understanding why the family-scale cattle industry is going broke and why either Big Meat or Big Government is helping it down the drain." First published by The Freeman Online, and reproduced with permission. (This article is categorized under Bovines / Cattle)
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