Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Farmer Scapegoat

Perry Beeman with the Des Moines Register should stop disguising himself as a news reporter and come out of the closet as the activist he really is. Once again he has written a story ripping the United States farmer. Des Moines, the city he hails, from built a $4 million nitrate removal facility for their water supply. They remove nitrates and guess what they do with them - put them back in the river! Nearly 41% of the continental United States, including 31 different states, drains into the Gulf of Mexico yet Beeman claims it is the Iowa farmer that is causing the environmental problems at the Gulf. The article actually states that nature has a way of repairing itself but activist Beeman attempts to direct your mind-set in the first two paragraphs. Click here to read the entire article in the Des Moines Register but here is what I am talking about.

07/31/2003 A dead zone off the coast of Louisiana, the result of farm pollution washed down the Mississippi River and other waterways, is half the size scientists expected, a top researcher reported Wednesday.

Nancy Rabalais of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium said two tropical storms stirred the waters, adding oxygen to deep water in large areas that typically wouldn't have much plant and animal life this time of year. The low oxygen kills much of the life and sends some sea creatures packing for other areas, disrupting one of the nation's richest fisheries.

The low oxygen happens as algae, fed by commercial fertilizers and naturally occurring nitrogen, die and decompose. Federal studies have shown Iowa is one of the largest sources of fertilizer that ends up in the gulf.

While farmers are planting buffer strips, implementing conservation tillage and other utilizing erosion management techniques, urbanization is placing concrete at every corner. E-mail the Des Moines Register and tell them Perry Beeman should be employed by the Sierra Club if he is going to continue doing their Public Relations and masquerading them as news pieces. Here is an excellent factsheet on the Mississippi River.

Don’t for a minute

If you believe this whole anti-antibiotic movement is not coming from the vegan and vegetarian socialists, you live in a cloud. This movement is wonderful at pitting the “natural” producers against “conventional”. Natural is an option that the producer and consumer can CHOOSE. Aligning yourself with this anti-animal agriculture movement in any way will eventually benefit Brazilian soybean farmers exclusively. Here is a two part article from the San Jose Mercury that describes what I am talking about. Again, doctors can tell my 5 year old daughter to start treatment with amoxicillen and we will work up to more powerful drugs for her ear infection, but it my fault as a livestock producer that humans are becoming resistant to antibiotics. Click here for part one or part two, but here is excerpt.

At Yolo Land and Cattle near Davis, 600 pairs of cows and calves chew through thousands of pounds of feed as they are raised for beef. Rancher Scott Stone plies the cattle with grass, hay and rice bran, but leaves out one ingredient that has become a mainstay in much of livestock farming -- antibiotics.

Unlike what has become standard practice in meat production, Stone's family ranch never used low doses of the drugs in feed. But until five years ago, they did treat sick animals, and occasionally the entire herd, with drugs commonly used in human medicine, like erythromycin and penicillin. Then Stone decided to start producing ``natural beef'' and dropped the use of antibiotics and other additives such as growth hormone.

``I want to be able to eat what I produce,'' Stone said. ``And the healthier and fresher I can make it, the better I feel about the product I'm producing.''
Limits on Big Macs

I can see it now. You walk up the counter at McDonalds to order a Big Mac and the high school kid working there has to tell you, “Sorry, we have sold our limit today. Please come back tomorrow”. In the same vein, Illinois has a law limiting the number of non-resident hunters. Below is an excerpt from the Quincy Herald Whig last Sunday. We are killing 500,000 deer a year on the nations highways with automobiles, obviously we do not have a shortage of deer. But the real issue is the use of private property. What is the point of buying land if you must use it as the government sees fit. We used to call that socialism. The entire article written by Deborah Gertz Husar is not available on-line, but I do have it if you would like to read it. Send me an e-mail and I will send it to you.

PITTSFIELD, Ill. - West Virginia deer hunters planning to spend time in Adams County during bow season won't be making the trip this year. They couldn't get the required non-resident deer hunting permit. "They'd been here two years in a row and were really looking forward to hunting again," said Ben Kessler, a Loraine outfitter and private landowner working with the hunters. "They'll have to hunt somewhere else or not hunt
in the Midwest."

Illinois caps nonresident permits at 12,843. Permits went on sale at 8 a.m. July 12 and sold out by the morning of July 17. "Last year it took about four weeks. I wonder what will happen next year. Will they be sold out in 24 hours?" Pike County Board member Harry Wright said. "In the meantime, we have a large deer herd in Illinois and a cap
creating hardships for private landowners. I think we need to get in touch with legislators, talk about the possibility of raising the cap and think about properly managing the deer herd."

Protein - the Health Food...

Why is our society still en-“grained” with the notion that meat is not a healthy part of our diet? How many times do you hear someone who works in a restaurant refer to a meatless diet as healthful? Protein is the “new” health food. Dr. Robert Atkins knew that in the 60’s and major medical communities are finally accepting it only 40 years later. I have just found the American Council on Science and Health. The nucleus of ACSH is a board of 350 physicians, scientists and policy advisors - experts in a wide variety of fields-who review the Council's reports and participate in ACSH seminars, press conferences, media communications and other educational activities. The list includes Nobel prize winner Norman Borlaug.

This site is an excellent source of information, and not from the “biased” beef industry. This is from their site.

Despite the positive news about beef, nutrition, and health, many Americans are misinformed and think that including beef in their diets will have negative health consequences. But, as the ACSH report explains, many of the supposed health risks associated with consuming beef lack strong scientific support or have been exaggerated.

For example, concerns have been raised about the fact that beef contains saturated fat—ostensibly the kind that raises blood cholesterol levels. But in fact, 2/3 of the fats in beef are of the type that do not raise cholesterol levels. Scientific studies have shown that a diet that includes moderate portions of lean beef is similar to one containing poultry or fish in its effects on blood cholesterol levels.
In the news

California Wool Growers Association have posted my article "What weighs heaviest on your mind" on their website. Thank you.