Commentary: It’s up to us to correct misconceptions about ag

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I am amused by some of the different perceptions—many of which are untrue and totally unjustifiable—about modern agriculture.

The internet and social media are great. I use them daily like most people. However, you can’t believe everything you read, and a lot of people do. Granted, there is a tremendous amount of good information available, but there is just as much bad information.

Many groups work to destroy modern-day agriculture by selling fear and mistrust to people who believe everything they read, don’t know any better or simply don’t care.

With much of the population being several generations removed from the farm or ranch, there are fewer and fewer people who know anything about agriculture. I am reminded of a time a lady tried to convince my wife, who was working an educational event, that a chicken had four legs. She believed that every chicken had four legs because when she bought chicken at the grocery store there were four legs in that package.

This may seem absurd to some, but to me it is eye-opening as to how disconnected a lot of people are. That’s why each and every one of us involved in agriculture—whether you operate a large or small farm or ranch, or even if you are full-time or part-time—have to do a better job at getting the correct information to the people who need it most. We have to make sure people understand what it takes to maintain the quantity and quality of the safe and abundant food supply our nation enjoys.

We operate a small cow/calf operation that is by no means large enough to support our family. We all work off the ranch, but spend countless hours volunteering at numerous agriculture-related events in our area to do our part to help inform people, both young and old.

Please, everyone take a moment and have a conversation about food with your friends, neighbors or even a stranger. It will make a difference for the farming and ranching generations to come.

Lee and Jennifer Brown live near Montgomery and represent Texas Farm Bureau District 11 on the Young Farmer & Rancher Advisory Committee.

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SD  |  September, 21, 2013 at 11:03 AM

I'll second that suggestion, and add, PLEASE get correct information. Farm Bureau is a good source, as is NCBA, Extension Service is reasonably good, and the better Ag Universities across the nation. We need to make sure we are not denigrating competing methods of raising food in order to better sell our own product. That simply isn't necessary, and it confuses people. Well produced food, by whatever method, should sell on it's own merit with no reason to trash others' ways, which sadly, is done too often.

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