Educated Agriculture: Why you Shouldn’t get your “Facts” From Hollywood

The morning frost grips to the pine needles; snow sparkles on top of the bales in the much needed warmth of the early spring sun.  Our ranch dog, Doc, runs to the food bowl in eager anticipation of  his breakfast, the barn cats are never far behind.  He’s not the only one that needs fed first-thing this chilly morning.  The cows and calves are (im)patiently waiting by the gate for their morning feed and for ice to be chopped.  With our cup of hot coffee, the baby’s snow suit and mittens on, the tractor and pickups warmed up to start chores, we say a little prayer that our day and mother nature brings good fortune and we care for our land and livestock to the best of our abilities.

Everyday, we worry.  That seems to consume so much of the Rancher and Farmer’s time; worry.  Will the calves bring the price we need? Will this next blizzard kill cattle? Will that pickup need replaced this year? Will this next election affect our ability to continue to do what we do? The thing about agriculture is that our fate hinges on mother nature, politics, and the markets; all three being highly unpredictable and worrisome.  What are the less than 2% to do if the next election brings a President who doesn’t understand the repercussions of their policies on the heartland of America? It scares me, and I know it scares many others, too.  I think the scariest thing about our current political climate is the ignorance and arrogance of the people who set policies for us.  Has a senator from New York ever woke up in the early hours of the morning to calve heifers in a blizzard? Has a Hollywood socialite ever even visited a dairy before making inaccurate and damaging assumptions about how cream gets to your coffee? Has an elected official from California ever doctored all day in a feedlot just to make ends meet and make sure the consumer gets a safe, healthy, and reliable source of protein in the local grocery store? I don’t think so.  What disturbs me so much is that anyone can get on the internet and find falsified information about agriculture and take it as gospel.  The general public is so disconnected from the Farm, that they don’t even know what to believe anymore or where to get the information.  The fact is, if you have never been to a ranch, dairy, farm, or spoken to someone with first-hand knowledge in the industry, it is dangerous and wrong to make assumptions about it.  I can honestly tell you, that someone that has never lived anywhere but Los Angeles or in the heart of Manhattan doesn’t have a clue what it takes for less than 2% of the population to feed 100% of the population EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  What I’m getting at is, if you don’t know, if you haven’t lived it, if you haven’t rushed a c-section cow to the vet in the middle of the night, or farmed into the early hours of the morning to get the seed planted before the rain,  you don’t know.  If you don’t know, ask.  Ask someone who lives, eats, and breathes it because those are the people who know where your food comes from.  They can give you the most accurate and truthful story of how that prime Black Angus t-bone got to your plate or how the cereal made it to the shelves of the grocery store, how the shirt made it to your closet, or how that fabulous glass of merlot made it to your fancy dinner.  So much of your everyday life is made possible by the American Rancher and Farmer; we need to elect officials that make our life easier and possible, too.

As an industry, it is so incredibly important for us to make ourselves available to the general public when it comes to education.  As I look out over the frosty stubble with satisfied cows munching away at their forage; I know this way of life is worth protecting.   I know so many people in our industry who are willing to educate; to talk to whoever will listen about how food gets from our Ranch, to your table. Please, I beg of our country, we need to be aware of how our current political and social climate can negatively impact the people and families who produce America’s food.  Without the American Farmer and Rancher you wouldn’t have food, clothing, libations, fossil-fuel alternatives, and many textiles.  Agriculture is the single most important industry to every single American citizen, period; and we as a country need to do everything in our power to protect it.  America’s heartland and its ability to produce a safe, reliable, and affordable source of food and fiber hinges on the next election.  Please, go out and vote to support the people who make it possible for you and your family to eat everyday.  I promise you, your next meal won’t grow in the back of Walmart.  Be educated, be an advocate, and beware of propaganda.  God bless the American Patriot and the American  Farmer and Rancher.

12 thoughts on “Educated Agriculture: Why you Shouldn’t get your “Facts” From Hollywood

  1. I get so sad when I read a lovely article like this accompanied by photos showing extremely unhealthy soils, vegetation and land. Poor understanding of soil and land health is endemic and not limited to city folks.


    • Rodger,
      Thank you for taking the time to read our article!
      First off, I’d like to say I appreciate your concern for the rangeland, after all, agriculturalists are the original environmentalists and conservationists!

      However, your concern is unwarranted. The photo you saw was not rangeland, it is summer fallow that had last years volunteer crop (which is now dried due to it being the middle of winter and being in a high desert climate) in a piece of farm ground. In high desert climate, it is best to leave stubble and dried down volunteer to catch snow during the winter months so that the soil has nitrogen to grow crop in the spring. You are not seeing unhealthy land at all, you are seeing properly wintered farm ground for a high desert climate with appropriate measures taken to ensure that the top soil doesn’t blow away in the dry winter months. In the coming months, it will be filled with a lush, green crop equipped for grazing!

      In the future, I’d be happy to answer any questions regarding why the land looks like that rather than being accused of “poor understanding of soil and land health.”


  2. I love this writing. Thank you, it breaks my heart to see so many moving to my Idahome and promote high density housing. I see farmers and ranchers selling off and I understand their plight. And, I believe it’s not solely a money decision on their part. Because for generations sometimes, they have been the stewards of our land. However, it is still sad.

    Sad that politicians, congress, government department heads are making decisions that will impact generations and determine the quality of our food and its value.

    Thank you for writing this and raising much needed awareness.


    • Seeing the same over time here in Wisconsin. City folk just don’t understand. I’m not a farmer nor rancher but trap and do some other things city people feel to be disgusting like raising laying hens and eventually eating them. They led a full life of many years not like some factory chicken and lived their life well.
      Per trapping, here in the central woods of Wisconsin we have so many predators it’s insane. So I trapped an otter last weekend behind my house. I can’t even post a picture of it in a #330 conibear without seriously offending city people you want to see a wolf, bear, fisher or otter around every tree here when they vacation.


  3. While I was born and raised in the heart land it makes me furious when I see California and the thousands of people here bashed as if we are not part of agriculture economy when we raise thousands of varieties of crops and livestock. Or that we are not good stewards of our planet being able to feed itself. Or that we are somehow against the success of farmers and ranchers accross this country. Which is a terrible lie. Shame on those who promote this myth.


    • Joyce, first off, thank you for taking the time to read the blog! I very much agree that California is an agricultural state….. nowhere in the article did I “bash” California. I merely was using politicians/Hollywood celebrities from that state as an example (as bicoastal politicians have said most of the ignorant, broad, and inaccurate statements in regards to Ag). The purpose of this post is to bring to light how damaging and misleading falsified information about our industry can be, and people who spread said misinformation are in fact, against the very industry that keeps them alive and fed.


  4. A country that cannot feed itself is vulnerable. If we import our food we may not have a steady supply, it could easily be contaminated on purpose, and production of agriculture products may not be grown sustainably or ethically. These are reasons we need to support the farmers and ranchers of the USA!


  5. As a country raised woman I admire, understand, and ,love the farm, ranching lifestyle. It is not for everyone . But for the people who devote their life and work to the land and animals to produce fabulous crops, and cattle, etc. I say hooray. And Thank you.


  6. Great article. My husband and I are 3rd generation farmers/ranchers in Northeast Montana. It’s an honorable occupation and the only ones you have to answer to in this business are the cows! We continue to be good stewards of the land with our good farming and ranching practices. Our biggest fear these days is The American Prairie Foundation (a global environmental organization, supposedly non profit) which is buying up millions of acres of range/farmland from broke farmers/ranchers in our area to place their buffalo on to thrill the rich and famous who fly in to see them.


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