Ryan Goodman is a generational rancher from Arkansas with a degree in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University in Animal Science, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at the University of Tennessee, studying beef cattle management. He is one of many farmers using social media to bridge the gap between farmers and urban customers. Follow his story daily at AgricultureProud.com or on Twitter and Facebook.
First impressions are critical when it comes to forming opinions; unfortunately, they do not always convey the entire story. Modern farming faces this problem, as most farmers have remained quiet and allowed animal and food activists to talk about modern agriculture. I think more people should allow farmers to be a part of this conversation.
Chef John Currence's recent essay on the use of immigrant labor in restaurant kitchens sparked a debate that's still raging in the article's comments section. Hundreds of people weighed in, and over 1000 comments later, several themes emerged: work ethics of immigrants, why Americans don't seek restaurant jobs, and who bears the cost in the end.
But first, the results from our poll, which received over 21,000 votes:
If you knew a restaurant hired undocumented workers, would you still eat there?
Ryan Goodman is a generational rancher from Arkansas with a degree in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University in Animal Science, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at the University of Tennessee, studying beef cattle management. He is one of many farmers utilizing social media to bridge the gap between farmers and urban customers. Follow his story daily at www.AgricultureProud.com or follow on Twitter (@AR_ranchhand) and Facebook.
How does our beef travel from pasture to plate? Can you describe this process from the time a calf is born to the moment your knife slices a steak?
In this country, we are blessed with a great group of farmers who care for their animals and a food safety system to ensure things work properly. There are farmers who do things various ways for good reasons for both their customers and their farms. A good balance of science and communication can go a long way in sustaining this process.
Eaten caviar, truffles, saffron or freeze-dried phytoplankton on the Vegas Strip? You probably have Brett Ottolenghi to thank.
Decades ago, homemakers relied on a man in a tidy apron and a necktie to provide the perfect cut of meat for Sunday dinner and a stop at the local butcher shop was part of the regular shopping routine. Over time, grocery stores started offering a similarly packaged cuts and it was the friendly neighborhood meat man who was being cut out.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, year after year, the number of grocery store butchers has grown steadily while the number of specialty store butchers has struggled to add numbers. Last year, there were more than 94,000 butchers working in grocery store chains.
Comparatively, specialty store butchers only accounted for 13,500 jobs that year, but that’s up significantly from 2008, when the economy tanked. Since the economic crisis, specialty store butchers have grown in number at a higher rate than their chain store counterparts. And that’s not including self-employed butchers.
Dave Tuttle has a passion for pie. "Let's face it. Pie is wonderful stuff,” he says. “It makes people feel great.” And it would be hard for anyone to argue that point, after seeing and smelling one of his signature double crusted fruit pies as it emerges, hot and steaming, from the oven.
But Tuttle's passion grew more out of necessity than culinary curiosity. After a 20-year career in film and television, Tuttle found himself unemployed in 2008 during the height of the recession, as the industry was shedding jobs.
"For about a year, I really made it full time to try to find a job, to get back into the business because that's what I had known for 20 years," Tuttle says. But after that year, there was still no job, and even less savings. It was time to try something new.
It is every child's dream to own a candy company.
Roxy Klein eventually got her wish.
Today, the 33-year-old co-owns Nifty Candy with her father, David Klein, who invented the Jelly Belly jelly bean in 1976.
In addition to the Kleins, the company, based in Covina, Calif., employs three candy makers, three employees who pack orders and one assistant.
By July, 15 years after its founding, Nifty Candy had earned its first $1 million. "We had a party," said Roxy Klein. "It's one of those things where the pennies really do add up."
Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell are the owners of Beekman 1802. Take a peek at life on their farm at beekman1802.com
When we first bought Beekman 1802 Farm, the only heirloom vegetables we’d ever heard of were heirloom tomatoes. But a welcome-wagon meeting with one of our neighbors changed all of that. Half-a-mile down the road from us lived the owners of Landreth Seed Company, and we soon learned that every kind of vegetable seed carries with it a little bit of history.
Before long our vegetable garden was sprouting with over 100 different varieties of heirloom seeds – peas, beans, lettuce, carrots, cabbages, and nearly any other kind of vegetable you’ve ever tried. Or haven’t tried.