Monday, October 06, 2003

Unbelievably hard

Any of you who actually know me understand my mission and motives. I believe in United States agriculture, including all the people who are involved as stewards of our natural resources. The ability for us to continue to use and convert those natural resources to value-added products for human consumption is becoming limited. What bothers me the most about that is that it is not because of poor utilization but rather the misdirection and outright lies of a very vocal, well-funded minority. The grass roots people like farmers, ranchers, loggers, hunters and fishermen are being negatively affected by this agenda and that is what motivates me.

My personal mission is to be the voice for these grass roots people and to empower all of us to be better spokesmen for ourselves and the industries we believe in. That is how and why we have formed the non-profit group Faces of Agriculture - to return the human element to food production; to let consumers know that their food is produced by people, not by factories. Faces of Ag is developing materials that will serve as a handbook for producers on dealing with activist topics, facts about production issues, food and nutrition facts to provide to consumers and many other subjects. In addition, we have initiated a program through land-grant universities to work with Block & Bridle club leaders to develop campus awareness of anti-ag activist programs and to teach college students to be pro-active spokesmen for food production in the U.S.

With all of that said, the limiting factor on what anyone can do always seems to be funding. I have a passion for speaking, traveling, radio and agriculture but I often have a real problem asking for contributions to support our efforts. But fundraising for a good cause shouldn’t be that difficult. Just last week I heard that the Kearney, NE Humane Society started fund raising for a new dog and cat shelter. The cost is estimated to be $1.2 million and in the first 30 days they raised $900,000.

Why does our society freely give to benefit a stray pet but we are reluctant to contribute to organizations that help our nation’s consumptive use providers? With that in mind, I am asking for your assistance in support of the work we are doing for the Faces of Agriculture - whether you can give $25 or $25,000, every bit helps. The following article, which appeared in the High Plains Journal, should explain why it is important to do a better job of getting the real facts presented about food production. The next generation may not understand it, but food production from American farmers and ranchers is a means of nation security.

Tax-deductible contributions may be sent to:

Faces of Agriculture

P.O. Box 545

Loup City, NE 68853

U.S. on brink of being net ag importer

After more than 40 years of exporting more meat, grains and produce than it imports, the United States is on the brink of becoming a net agricultural importer, two economists warn.

If current trends continue, Purdue University economists Phil Paarlberg and Phil Abbott say agriculture imports could overtake exports by 2007, driven by a sluggish export market and consumers' growing appetite for foods grown overseas.

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