Monday, October 12, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I have included the blog from friend Jeff Fowle, with his permission;
Jeff wrote in response to the ridiculously biased and unfounded article recently published in TIME magazine, "Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food." The article has created quite a buzz in agriculture circles and for good reason: Mr. Walsh's article was not based on sound science and it did not include the wide range of views/information from agricultural experts. It is a sad commentary on the way people can be so easily swept up by what's hot/what's not and a sad commentary on media bias. If only Mr. Walsh had gone beyond the superficial and sought out experts in agricultural science and production....truly, farmers are not the enemy, ranchers are not the enemy. Farmers and ranchers, particularly family farmers and family-owned ranches work very hard to produce a quality product that is safe for consumers. Food quality is of the utmost importance to farmers and ranchers. Food safety and animal health, particularly the appropriate use of antibiotics, etc., are also of paramount importance. These issues are not incidental to any farmer or rancher. gj
To Time Magazine,
The recent article by Bryan Walsh, “Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food,” August 20th, was a poor choice to serve as the cover article. Covers should be objective, factually based and lead to an educated and productive discussion to solve an issue or inform in an unbiased manner. Bryan Walsh’s article was none of these.
His attempt at journalism was obviously slanted, utilized biased science, and lacked truthful, well researched information. If he was attempting to mislead the public through misinformation and scare tactics, he was successful.
As it was written, it served no productive purpose in aiding in the growing and successful dialogue between family farmers and ranchers and the consumers taking place in social media. Attempts by Walsh and others sharing his agenda and motives to paint American Agriculture with wide brush strokes of assumptions and accusations only hinder a productive outcome.
Family farmers and ranchers across the country encourage honest dialogue to educate the public and have them share in the process of solving challenges with an end objective being able to continue to provide the world with the safest and healthiest food supply.
I look forward to seeing another article by Mr. Walsh that points out, item by item, the misinformation that was printed and enlightens the public as to the facts and returns responsibility to the individual. If he needs help locating unbiased, real-life, real farm & ranch conditions and information, I would encourage him to contact one of the family famers and ranchers from across the nation on this list: http://www.dataforag.com/followfarmer.a5w. We will tell it as it is, what works and what does not. We utilize science and modern technology every day to provide you with an affordable, safe and wholesome product. Our only motive is to keep the environment clean and healthy, enhance wildlife habitat, encourage conservation, provide for future generations and feed people.
Jeffrey N. Fowle
Family Farmer & Rancher from CA
Friday, July 31, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
California has been the number one food and agricultural producer in the United States for more than 50 consecutive years.
More than half the nation's fruit, nuts, and vegetables come from California.
California is the nation's number one dairy state. California's leading commodity is milk and cream. California produced 22 percent of the milk in the U.S., with most of it used to make cheese and butter.
Grapes are California's second leading agricultural commodity.
California's leading export crop is almonds.
Nationally, products grown EXCLUSIVELY or up to 99% or more in California include: almonds, artichokes, dates, figs, kiwi fruit, olives, persimmons, pistachios, prunes, raisins, clovers, and walnuts.
From 70 to 80% of all ripe olives are grown in California.
California is the nation's leading producer of strawberries, averaging 1.4 billion pounds of strawberries or 83% of the country's total fresh and frozen strawberry production. Approximately 12% of the crop is exported to Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Japan primarily.
California produces 25% of the nation's onions and 43% of the nation's green onions.
Gilroy, California, "Garlic Capitol of the World," has hosted 2 million at the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival.
Here are some other intriguing statistics about California's agriculture:
- The Central Valley, a flat plain 75 miles (120 km) wide and 430 miles (688 km) long has become the richest farming region in the history of the world.
- California is the largest producer of goods of all the states and the largest agricultural state in America.
- In 2002 cattle and calves ranked as the state's No. 4 crop or commodity in terms of value, behind only milk, grapes and nursery products.
- California 's 22,000 beef producers care for more than 5 million head of cattle and about 37 million acres of rangeland. Many California cattle ranches have been owned by the same family for four or five generations and most ranches are family-owned and operated.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Secondly, it would be a ridiculous thing if farmers/ranchers were not careful and attentive to their livestock. Much has been done to insure that good care is given animals, too. One program that perhaps consumers know little about is the BQA, or "Beef Quality Assurance" program.
According to its website, "The Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program was initiated in 1987 to provide cattle producers with the tools and training necessary to assure animal health and well-being as well as provide a safe, quality product. BQA principals influence the management practices of more than 90 percent of cattle."
BQA provides guidelines for beef cattle production. Producers recognize that providing proper care, handling and nutrition is the right thing to do and makes strong business sense, as well. Farmers and ranchers across the United States oppose any form of animal abuse or cruelty.
The program hopes to raise consumer confidence through the assurance that proper management techniques and commitment to quality does, in fact, exist within every part of the beef industry.
Another assurance, the “Producer Code for Cattle Care,” was first developed in 1996. It, too, reinforces the industry’s strong stand against animal neglect and/or cruelty. It outlines a set of production practices; the code states that “persons who willfully mistreat animals will not be tolerated.”
Moreover, to insure it dealt with all aspects of beef production, producers worked with animal health and well-being animal experts to develop the “Guidelines for Care and Handling of Beef Cattle.” These guidelines have been endorsed by the Academy of Veterinary Consultants and the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, plus the Food Marketing Institute and National Council of Chain Restaurants.
Just as do consumers, farmers and ranchers expect that as cattle leave their farms, ranches and feedlots across the country, that animals will be treated humanely and that every step will be taken to produce safe beef. It hurts ALL of us when abuses occur anywhere within the industry and agriculturatists are as unhappy as consumers when the trust and/or expectation for fair and humane treatment is compromised.
The Code of Cattle Care lists general recommendations for care and handling of cattle, and include the following: Farmers and ranchers will......
* Provide necessary food, water and care to protect the health and well-being of animals.
* Provide disease prevention practices to protect herd health, including access to veterinary care.
* Provide facilities that allow safe, humane, and efficient movement and/or restraint of cattle.
* Use appropriate methods to humanly euthanize terminally sick or injured livestock and dispose of them properly.
* Provide personnel with training/experience to properly handle and care for cattle.
* Make timely observations of cattle to ensure basic needs are being met.
* Minimize stress when transporting cattle.
* Keep updated on advancements and changes in the industry to make decisions based upon sound production practices and consideration for animal well-being.
FINALLY, the Code states that:
* Persons who willfully mistreat animals will not be tolerated.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
1. Roads that "confine and straighten stream courses." These roads funnel sediment directly into streams.
2. Old mining practices, that, although they have been improved in recent years, have left a "legacy" of environmental damage.
3. Channelizing or restraining and controlling streams, which damage riparian areas.
4. The LOSS of FAMILY FARMS and RANCHES, as a result of so many factors, which "invariably wind up being partitioned, with minin-ranchettes sitting next to streams." These lovely and many second home investments, "almost always result in the permanent alteration of the landscape and often result in the near complete destruction of riparian fuctionality--not to mention water pollution, [and] loss of important wildlife habitat."
This last item is so critical in the rural areas of the West, where family farmers and ranchers are now competing for land and the right to maintain open areas. Unfortunately, many of those who OPPOSE grazing or are anti-beef and anti-cattle do not understand the devastation the LOSS of OPEN space will create in the future. Sadly, many of these same people are the very ones who are intent on purchasing a second home -- a home in the country or near nature -- but at the price of what????? Wildlife, especially waterfowl and land animals, require wider spaces upon which to graze and where they can fly or roam without fences or broken up spaces. Sub-divided land becomes land that is less than useful for wildlife.
Thus, the destruction and the movement against open grazing or family ranches flies in the face of REAL conservation efforts. Family farms and ranches play a huge part in maintaining a healthy open space and ecosystem. When these outfits and operations are forced out of business by the careless rhetoric and political agenda being pushed by many 'extreme environmentalists' toting 'facts' that are not facts at all, but propoganda, WE ALL LOSE.
Compared to this loss of habitat by the sub-division and destruction of family ranches and private lands -- which support more than 75% of wildlife in the United States -- the effect of livestock on the environment or riparian areas is minute, almost, in fact, immeasurable.
So-called "reports" by many of these politically far-left and extreme thinkers is "flawed and inaccurate", but their malicious and calculated effort to brainwash moderate-thinking and those very concerned with conservation to be is dangerous and will become disastrous if effective.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Check it out!!! Yes, BEEF provides more than just the essential blocks of protein and zinc and iron and B vitamins, it also contains ALC (Alpha lipoic acid).....
Read all about it! Beef is BACK and it's health-related benefits far outweigh any negative press it has received in the last few years. Again, get the facts.