Bo Stone, his wife Missy, and his parents jointly own P & S Farms in Rowland, North Carolina. He represents the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance as one of its Faces of Farming and Ranching. Follow our Farmers with Issues series for more perspective from people out in the field.
It’s just before 7:00 a.m. I’m pulling on my boots to step onto the fields of our family farm. The sun is rising, casting a pale glow across the land, making the warming frost sparkle. I love this part of my day. I walk out to the middle of the field and look over my crops.
I am proud of the corn, wheat and soybeans we grow on my 2,300-acre family farm. We grow sweet corn and strawberries to sell at the roadside market and also raise hogs and cows. And I feel good about the role we play in food production in our community and well beyond.
Yet many people choose to attack me when they say big farms are bad. They say I’m doing something wrong, but they’ve never stepped foot on my farm. It is time for farmers of all sizes to stand up and tell consumers how it really works on farms of all sizes. And stop the attacks.
For more than a decade, Robin Emmons felt helpless as her older brother lived on the streets, eating out of garbage cans.
She tried repeatedly to get him help for his mental illness, but authorities told her there was nothing they could do.
After he was arrested in 2008 for damaging someone's car during a schizophrenic outburst, she was finally able to become his legal guardian and get him into a halfway house with psychiatric services.
But as she watched his mental health improve, she noticed his physical health getting worse.
"I learned that he was becoming borderline diabetic," she said. "He wasn't like that even when he was homeless."
She investigated and found out that the nonprofit facility was mainly feeding him packaged and canned foods because it couldn't afford fresh fruits and vegetables.
Katie Pratt is a corn and soybean family farmer in Illinois and serves as a Face of Farming & Ranching for U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance. Read more about her on her blog and follow her on Twitter @KatiePratt4.
The word of the day in agriculture is "transparency."
As the debate rages over the pros and cons of labeling things from fruits and vegetables to cereal, ground beef, soil and plastics, we farmers and ranchers continue to greet each sunrise doing what we do: plant, protect, grow, raise, care, nurture, conserve, preserve, maintain, and improve their crops, land and livestock.
It’s all part of the job and the life we have chosen for seven generations on our farm. We grow corn, soybeans and seed corn, and we do plant genetically modified varieties. I’ll tell you why.
The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recently approved a label for meat and liquid egg products that would inform consumers about whether the product contains genetically modified ingredients. The approval marks the first time the department has approved a non-GMO label from a third party.
The verification seal comes from the Non-GMO Project, a non-profit organization “committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products, educating consumers and providing verified non-GMO choices.” The seal allows consumers to know if the animal product they’re about to consume was fed genetically engineered crops like soy, corn and alfalfa. (The FDA has not approved any genetically modified animals for the food supply, but some animals do eat GMO feed.)
Genetically modified foods were approved for human consumption in the United States in 1995, but the FDA never required them to be labeled as such.
Popular food chain Chipotle announces that some of its ingredients are genetically modified. CNN's Brian Todd reports.
Editor's Note: Brian Scott farms with his father and grandfather on 2,300 acres of land in northwest Indiana. They grow corn, soybeans, popcorn and wheat. He blogs about it at The Farmer's Life, where a version of this post originally appeared. Corporate relationships and the use of genetically modified products are complex and controversial issues, and Eatocracy will be presenting points of view on it from more farmers, food scientists and environmentalists in the coming weeks. We invite you to become part of the dialogue.
As a farmer who is active on social media, I’ve seen a lot of posts online about how corporations control farms or how farmers are slaves to “Big Ag.” Some people claim we are beholden to companies and must sign unfair contracts to be privileged enough to use their biotech seed. They also claim the contracts rope us into buying other inputs like pesticides and herbicides from the same company.
Others make claims about how family farmers are treated by big corporations that they see as enemies of nature, monopolizing agriculture and ruthless in their greed. It’s easy to misunderstand something if you aren’t directly involved.
At every election, California's ballot is filled with initiatives, but none received more attention this year than Proposition 37.
After the polls closed, Prop 37 - also known as the "Right To Know" initiative to require labeling of foods that have been genetically modified - failed to pass. If approved, California would have been the first state to require such labeling for foods sold in the state, and would have prohibited products containing genetically modified ingredients to be labeled or marketed as "natural."
Last September's Food and Drug Administration hearings on the introduction of genetically modified salmon into the consumer food system, and issues around labeling the fish as such gave rise to heated debates in Washington and on this very site.
Consumer protection advocates said food should be labeled as such if it derives from a genetically modified organism. AquaBounty - the creator of the "AquAdvantage® Salmon" at the center of the debate, argued that genetically modified salmon should not be required to display additional labeling as it has the same qualities as the non-GMO Atlantic salmon.