The faces of agriculture… National Ag Day

National Ag Day (and week) is a time to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture. In 2015 I wrote National Ag Week… 5 reasons to thank a consumer. In reading it over again today, I think it is still very relevant.

You may or may not personally know the people who grown and/or raise your food, so today I wanted to share some blog posts and introduce you to various agriculturalists.

Sustainable – More than meets the eye introduces you to three farming and ranching families who are practicing sustainability. They share with you what sustainability looks like for them and how it plays into the fact that these are multi-generational businesses.

Dr. Dee Griffin (cow vet) shares what agriculture means to him in Meet… Dr. Dee Griffin

Wondering what a sixth generation agriculturalist looks like? Trent Loos is a farmer/rancher as well as an advocate for agriculture. In Meet… Trent Loos, he shares what agriculture means to him.

I often share stuff that is happening on my family’s ranch and animal care is no exception. Just over two years ago the Pineapple Express Storm hit the west coast, in California ranchers bracing for Pineapple Express storm I shared what my parents and their neighbors were doing to prepare for this massive weather event. In Care of baby lambs in freezing temperatures, I share what we do to ensure the animals are comfortable and healthy.

As we all know, newborns are delicate and fragile, whether they are human or animal. Sometimes animals need a little extra help. A day in the life of a sheep rancher is a page from my Mom’s playbook and demonstrates how that care is administered, and how that may result in animals being taken to the house. My Mom was also featured in Bummer lamb to replacement ewe

At the end of the day ranchers and farmers are just regular people too. They celebrate life’s milestones and try to take vacations 🙂 In these posts, I introduce you to my Dad in Even ranchers have birthdays! and Shout out to my Dad.

I hope that some of these posts give you some insight and connection to the people growing and/or raising your food.

National Ag Day

Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

– Twitter/Instagram (agwithdrlindsay)
Facebook
Pinterest

National Ag week… 5 reasons to thank a consumer

This is National Ag Week, with March 18 being Ag Day, a day to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture.

While I could spend the time today sharing with you how great I think agriculture is, and how much I adore the people who grow or raise agricultural products, I will not. Instead I want to celebrate the consumer – the user of the agricultural products.

Consumers are essential for agriculture. They buy agricultural products (i.e. meat, milk, fuel, pharmaceutical/medical supplies, fruits, vegetables, seeds, byproducts of the various ag enterprises, and more). While survival on this planet would be difficult (impossible) without agriculture, we are in this together – consumers and farmers/ranchers.

Some of the specific things I want to thank the consumers for:

1. Making food sexy and fun again. The “foodie” movement has allowed for persons to look at and taste food in a whole new light. People from all walks-of-life are enjoying trying new dishes, new flavor and texture combinations, and new venues (i.e. food trucks) for getting their food. As someone who loves food from all corners of the earth, I love that this is happening, and so do my taste buds.

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A variety of foods that I got to eat in Austin, TX… Yum!

2. Showing interest in agriculture. There has been a lot of renewed interest in knowing how food is grown or raised. People want that connection with their food; and I think that is great. Farmers and ranchers know what they do is awesome, I mean not everyone gets to witness the miracle of an animal birth(s), look out over a crop that was grown by your own hands, or sit upon a horse who helps you get your daily work done. While consumers may not be able to do these things, they want a chance to experience them.

3. Questioning agriculture. You will probably hear farmers and ranchers say they do something because that is the way it has always been done. In agriculture there is so much risk involved, that farmers and ranchers are afraid to make drastic changes without knowing the outcome, or without having an incentive for their investment. Consumers are starting to question farmers and ranchers about why they do the things they do. While this has come with some growing pains from farmers and ranchers, ultimately it has helped identify areas where changes can and should be made. Things can and will be better as a result of it.

4. Establishing relationships with your local agriculturalists. I am seeing/hearing/reading about more and more relationships developing between consumers and farmers/ranchers. Consumers can put a face to their food. They are getting to meet the people who grow or raise their food, either where the food is sold, via a farm/ranch tour, or a field day on a farm/ranch. Farmers and ranchers are generally surprised that someone wants to see how they plant a crop, how they move livestock to another pasture, or how they harvest grain – but consumers want to see/read/listen about these things, and they want the farmer/rancher to explain it to them. Shared agricultural experiences, between a consumer and a farmer/rancher, are becoming more and more popular.

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Shared learning about agriculture!

5. Increased transparency. Consumers want to know the ins-and-outs of how their food was grown or raised. Until recently, this was not something that many people really cared about, and farmers/ranchers being the private people they are, never shared that information… until now. More and more farmers/ranchers/ and agriculturalists are taking to social media to share the ag story. To share what they do on a daily basis, and to bring the farm or ranch to the masses who can’t go to the farm or ranch.

Growing and raising food is a hard job that is not for the faint of heart, but there is a renewed interest in food production. This is a great time to be an agriculturalist and a consumer!

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Cows grazing on pasture int he Sierra Nevada Mountains.

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Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

– Website (http://food.unl.edu/ag-and-food)
– Twitter/Instagram (agwithdrlindsay)
– Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/agwithdrlindsay)
– Pinterest (Lindsay Chichester-Medahunsi)

The most influential man you may have never heard of…

This week is National Agriculture week, and today (March 25) is National Ag Day! For those of us in agriculture, this is our week to geek out if you will. I believe agriculture is important enough to be celebrated daily, but since it is not, here are some fun facts for you…

The Agriculture Council of America (ACA) is responsible for conducting the National Ag Day annually as a day to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture. Both the ACA and National Ag Day were founded in 1973! There are four key values, they believe every American should:

– Understand how food and fiber products are produced.

– Appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant, and affordable products.

– Value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy.

– Acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food, and fiber industry.

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Heifers thinking I may have some special treats for them…

Before the ACA and National Ag Day, there was a man named Dr. Norman Borlaug (March 25, 1914 – September 12, 2009) who was called the “Father of the Green Revolution”. He was also called the “Man who saved a billion lives”! Those are some amazing and powerful titles. Dr. Borlaug was born on a farm in Ceresco, Iowa; he studied forestry, plant pathology, and microbiology; and was a practical, energetic, hands-on researcher who worked side-by-side with farm workers, students, and interns. Dr Borlaug spent 22 years in Mexico, and during that time a dwarf variety of wheat was developed that produced large amounts of grain, resisted disease, and resisted lodging (bending and breaking of the stalk on high producing varieties). This wheat variety was not only planted in Mexico, but also in India, Pakistan, Central and South America, Near and Middle East, and Africa – and was responsible for feeding a billion starving people!

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Dr. Norman Borlaug

Norman Borlaug received many prestigious awards in his lifetime including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970, the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal (the last two medals are the highest a civilian can receive). In 1984 he went to Texas A&M University as a Distinguished Professor of International Agriculture. The Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture has been established at Texas A&M, with the mission “To employ agricultural science to feed the world’s hungry and to support equity, quality of life and mutual respect among peoples.”  

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The man credited with saving a billion lives – Norman Borlaug

As you may have noticed, today, March 25, would have been Dr. Borlaug’s 100th birthday. To honor this legend, a statue of his likeness will be unveiled tonight at the U.S. Capitol by congressional leaders and Iowa lawmakers.

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Dr. Norman Borlaug

Today, on National Ag Day, and your 100th birthday celebration, I salute you Dr. Normal Borlaug, for your tremendous advancements in plant breeding and genetics!

Pizza Perfect…Fun Fact Friday

Friday nights seem to be pizza night in our house. So today I thought I would share some fun pizza facts with you…

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Buffalo Chicken pizza – blue cheese as the base, chicken, buffalo sauce, and blue cheese/mozzarella cheese on the top!
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The “Kitchen Sink” pizza – homemade wheat crust, and what ever you can find in the fridge on top.
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Thai Chicken with peanut sauce pizza – sweet and spicy sauce on the bottom, grilled chicken, grated carrots, cilantro, and peanut sauce drizzled on top!

Did you know Americans eat about 100 acres (1 acre is about the size of a football field) of pizza a day!! Or 350 slices a second?!

Each man, woman, and child in America eats roughly 46 slices of pizza year!

Pepperoni is America’s favorite pizza.

In America, anchovies rank last on desired pizza toppings. (I like anchovies on my pizza!)

According to Domino’s, international favorites include: pickled ginger, minced mutton (old sheep meat) and tofu in India, squid (octopus), Mayou Jaga (mayonnaise, potato, and bacon) in Japan, and green peas in Brazil. In Russia, pizza is covered with mockba, which a combination of sardines, tuna, mackerel, salmon, and onions. In France, a popular pizza is the Flambee, with bacon, onion, and fresh cream.

For other fun facts on food check out the National Ag Day website.

What do you like on your pizza?