Sunday, May 16, 2004

The following paper received a 100% score for Lanae Koons, student Kansas State University.

Trent Loos, a 6th generation farmer/rancher originally from Quincy, Illinois, is an Agricultural Activist. Mr. Loos was born into the farming and ranching business, with a background in the production of hogs and cattle, a tradition he still continues today. He believes that farming and ranching is the backbone of the country and hopes to see other youth continue this heritage. He did not attend college and believes that not doing so benefited him, so that he did not become the conformist college teaches young minds to be. Four years ago he decided that he wanted to become a spokesman for agriculture, educating those on food and livestock production. He currently has his own radio show, which airs on an average of 100 stations daily and writes columns for 4 papers on a weekly basis.
When asked how he views agriculture, “it’s a way of life, we have long been coached to organize it as a business; however if it were a true business there would be fewer people left due to the absence of monetary gain, one must be aware that provided there is no monetary gain, there is a great sense of family atmosphere, pride and a sense of accomplishment.”
He feels that ethics plays a tremendous role in agriculture, though its perception has changed. In the 1930’s a graduate from Kansas State University would have received their degree in animal husbandry, however today, college graduates are receiving degrees in animal sciences. He feels that we need better spokesmen for our ever changing agriculture industry, an industry that is ever leading to the corporate side. The perception of “for the betterment of animals” is no longer present it seems. When he himself must make ethical decisions he bases that on personal experience and the science that is given from universities such as Kansas State University.
In the future he sees that some decisions are not to implement unnecessary burdens, but to enact laws to protect a vocal minority every resource industry has seen, from fisherman to loggers. Agriculture must stand up so that it does not happen to them. Some activist groups may not think this pertains to them but it pertains to everyone who eats, and that IS everyone. He intends on creating changes that the agricultural industry has waited too long to do. He wants to create a better environment and situation for people and animals alike.
Mr. Loos currently benefits the agricultural sector by motivating people to get involved within the industry, mainly those whom have never thought about running for an office, or by bringing awareness to student campuses. He brings to light issues that are current, and empowers people with the tools and knowledge to get involved in the process in which they are interested in seeing a change.
He works with other trade organizations representing membership groups with a common goal in the agriculture industry. He also works with farmers and ranchers to do what they do best, which is supplying a cheap abundant food supply to the world. It is also felt that the people who are most affected should be the ones to make decisions. On a local level, agriculture needs more “grass roots” representatives to be the decision makers, instead of someone on a national level whom was not raised in agriculture, or has no real understanding of it.
When asked what the biggest international issue is he replied, “ one world, one government; if we want to globalize we must equalize across the board in all societies; the standard of living which the Untied State has strived so hard to obtain will be diminished, so that we can increase the standard for thirds world countries. Why would we build such a great and prosperous nation and then let it diminish for a standard?”
For us, as a country to save rural America; we must quit telling our kids there is no opportunity there. His advice for those entering the work force is to follow your passion. Do not allow others to talk you into going into production if you do not want to. The average age of the farmer is older than a Florida retirement community, which means that many farmers want and desperately need a younger generation to take over their operation. However, so many have been convinced that there is nothing in it to benefit them, they go on to suffice their monetary wants and needs. Follow your passion.

Lanae Koons
12305 Elm Slough Rd.
St. George, KS 66535

"If you want something bad enough, you can make anything happen!"

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