My grandpa and I pose in front of his dairy barn in upstate
40-some years ago. My love affair with agriculture began at a young age (Family photo). New York
Although my family moved 10 times in the first 18 years of my life, I was fortunate enough to spend vacations on my grandfather’s dairy farm.
Childhood memories of spending time in the barn or out on the tractor with him are among my most favorite. I learned about his operation, the modern equipment that he used and why he farmed the way that he did.
I learned about the life of newborn calves, the death of barn kittens that got trampled under the hooves of cows, the hard work that never allowed my grandpa to take a vacation, and about the health and better taste of pasteurization.
It saddens me today when I hear people who have never set foot on a farm criticize modern agriculture. I don’t understand why they don’t take the time to educate themselves about farming practices before condemning them.
If you suspect you have strep throat, you visit a doctor. If you have a suspicious mole, you see a dermatologist. If you don’t understand a farming practice, why would you just believe hearsay?
I understand that not everyone has the chance to personally visit farms, but there are plenty of virtual tours out there.
The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance has made it simple for people to learn about agriculture without leaving the comfort of their homes. USFRA was formed to initiate a worldwide conversation among consumers and real farmers—small and large, organic and conventional, those who use genetically modified seeds and those who don’t. The coalition wants people to explore the world of farming for themselves before passing judgment on the industry that feeds our nation and much of our world.
The Discovery network produced several documentaries for USFRA about beef, dairy, pork, turkey and soy farms. You can watch them, as well as a discussion about biotechnology and several panel discussions with farmers and consumers, at fooddialogues.com/videos.
You also can join the conversation by liking the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/USFarmersandRanchers.
With the technology available in many
households, there is no reason for anyone to be uninformed about farmers and the modern practices that are used to produce food to feed the world. U.S.