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The View From Here | August 2011

As a general rule it takes quite a bit to ruffle my feathers. But I must say, I got a little wound up several weeks ago regarding a CNN follow up article to “Five reasons to buy from your local 4-H.”

In a nutshell, the first article was by a chef and talked about the reasons to purchase animals from 4-H members for human consumption. Most of us have done it, no big deal right?

WRONG.

I didn’t bother to count them, but needless to say the above-mentioned article got tons of comments on the eatocracy.cnn.com website. Again, I didn’t figure a percentage on the positive vs. negative comments regarding the article, but suffice is to say, a couple days after the original article came out enough negative comments were posted that CNN published a follow-up article titled “Does 4-H desensitize kids to killing?”

Before we go any further, let me say, that I’m not throwing rocks at CNN.

However, it is a sad state of affairs when a portion of our nation is so uneducated about the world of agriculture that they can pick on 4-H with a clear conscience.

I take pride in the fact I generally do a good job of minding my own business and staying out of matters that don’t directly affect me, but ladies and gentlemen I think it is high time we speak up.

The truth is something like 2 percent of our population lives on farms and produces the products that feed our nation. The sad fact is, apparently an increasing percentage of the other 98 percent thinks chocolate milk comes from brown cows and meat somehow magically appears in the meat case wrapped neatly in styrofoam and cellophane.

We are the minority and have been forever. The problem is the majority is getting more and more vocal about how they think WE should conduct OUR business.

I am pretty sure the vast majority of these people wouldn’t like me showing up at their place of employment and leaning over their shoulder telling them how they should conduct their business. However, that is exactly what is happening to our farmers and ranchers.

The problem with this whole mess is that I’m not exactly sure what the solutions are, but I do know I am done keeping quiet. I’m not headed to D.C. to organize a protest anytime soon, but I am fairly certain that the next time some urban smarty pants starts railing against agriculture, I am going to do my best to educate the poor lost soul with more opinions than common sense.

It may not be much, but it’s a start.

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