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Observe National Ag Week

By Staff | Mar 19, 2011

As we wind up National Ag Week, March 13-19, it’s a great time to thank those farmers and ranchers who help keep this country running and running right.

One only has to ask where Iowa’s economy would be if it weren’t for agriculture. Indeed, agriculture – and the renewable fuels industry – are really what is keeping our state going.

This is a good time, then, to do what we can to help agriculture by encouraging our lawmakers at both the state and federal level to support renewable energy tax credits and the Environmental Protection Agency’s endorsement of E-15 for vehicles 2001 and newer. It’s only common sense – and good business sense for Iowa – that we support this legislation.

We should also be willing to challenge ill-educated statements and biases against production agriculture.

Those who accuse production agriculture of animal cruelty need to study their facts.

Animal mortality is down tremendously from 40 or so years ago. Improved vaccines and efforts to keep diseased animals out of the food supply have paid off tremendously.

Remember trichinosis? That disease in which worms were transmitted from pork to humans? The disease that had everyone cooking their pork until there wasn’t anything left of it?

Well, you’d be pretty hard-pressed to even find a case of trichinosis today, with far cleaner hog production facilities.

The same goes for other livestock as well, including beef and poultry. We have a healthy and safe food supply not so much because of what regulators want but because of what producers want.

And if you think our food in America is expensive, just go ask someone living in India or Africa what percentage of their dollar they spend on food. It’s a lot more than what we spend in the U.S.

So let’s thank those crop and livestock producers for giving us what no other country has – the best possible food in the world at the best possible price.