A Sustainable Farm View on Water Quality in Minnesota. Tile Drainage a Best Practice

Troubled Water circa 1960. Click to enlarge.

Below are water quality arguments from the farmer’s perspective. This is a complex issue with no simple answers and I encourage you to study both sides. (I’ve provided many links below, Troubled Waters & St. Croix River Watershed Research Station are the loyal opposition) What’s struck me is the polarization in the debate. Let’s put it this way, it’s “city-dwelling environmentalists” vs “greedy pollutin’ agriculture.”  

I’d like to hear your feedback.  — Don Smith Continue reading

Animal Agriculture: A Cornerstone of Minnesota’s Economy

Throughout Minnesota’s history a complex web of interdependent and mutually beneficial relationships have evolved that make animal agriculture a cornerstone of Minnesota’s economy. Techniques for producing, processing and distributing this abundance are rapidly improving. Efficiencies of scale and advances in crop and animal science have bolstered Minnesota’s place in the most effective food system in the world.

Minnesota can continue to be a world leader in a sustainable, safe and humane livestock industry using the nutrition found in local crops to fuel this progress. Continue reading

Biotechnology: A Proven and Safe Tool Feeding a Hungry World

Farming is a volatile industry affected by weather, trade policies and world conflicts. While farmers cannot control any of these factors, they can access the latest science to fight the challenges nature throws at them every year. These challenges include pressure from weeds, insects, disease and weather. Advances in science, and biotechnology in particular, have enabled farmers to produce abundant, high-quality crops sustainably, and reduce the use of chemicals, fertilizers, water, and land. Contrary to what some may say, 15 years of biotech crops have proven to be a boon for mankind and the environment. Continue reading

Grandin Shares with Agri-Growth Her Hopes to Highlight Industry’s Respect for Animals in Streaming Video

Dr. Temple Grandin. Click to enlarge.

The livestock industry needs to be more transparent and open about how it respectfully handles animals for food production, says Temple Grandin, an autistic animal science professor at Colorado State University, best selling author and consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior. Grandin was interviewed on stage by Minnesota Public Radio host Kerri Miller at the 2011 Minnesota Agri-Growth Council Annual Meeting & Speakers Conference.

“The thing that really frustrates me is we’ve got the slaughter plants really cleaned up, and nobody knows about it. I want to really commend Cargill for going on the Oprah Continue reading

Governor Dayton and Ag-Economists Praise Agriculture in a Volatile and Tough Economy — Prepare for the Unexpected.

Michael Swanson, Wells Fargo economist

Risk Management is Key to Agriculture’s Prosperity: Economist says to prepare for the unexpected. 

Wells Fargo economist Michael Swanson told attendees of the Minnesota Agri-Growth conference that those in agriculture must manage increased risk and volatility in a global climate of economic and political uncertainty. He urged the industry to be prepared for the unexpected, including changes to U.S. monetary policy and biofuels policy. “With our budgetary deficits today, anything and everything can happen politically,” says Swanson. “The idea that ethanol policy could be reversed is almost unthinkable, but you need to think the unthinkable when it comes to managing your wealth and risk.”

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