TODAY ON AGDAY
FEBRUARY 29, 2012
Good morning. Debate is heating-up after a story we first reported on Monday about a horse slaughter plant in southwest Missouri. A company called unified equine wants to open the plant near the town of Mountain Grove. This would be the first plant to open in the U.S., after president Obama signed-into-law a spending bill that restores the horse-slaughter industry. In this follow-up report, Linda Russell from affiliate KYTV talked with people in the industry about owners who can't afford to keep horses...in this poor economy.
Thanks Linda. We received numerous emails and comments on our Facebook page about this plant...and most of those comments are in favor of it. A horse owner from Coats, Kansas says she "...doesn't see anything wrong with a slaughter plant, at least you would know things were being handled humanely." Another viewer said - "if horses are shipped out of our country and then slaughtered, they are still slaughtered. Why not keep the jobs here?" From Facebook, Janet writes "give the horses death with dignity and help the country financially at the same time." Also from Facebook, Missy writes "these animals will be raised to be slaughtered. I do not understand how that is giving a horse a death with dignity." Our thanks to everyone for sharing their comments. We have even more comments on our website and on Facebook.
FUTURE OF FARMING:
Some of you may remember when your farm got its first phone. That was progress! We've come a long way from those days. AgDay's national reporter Tyne Morgan takes a look at how smart phones are helping the way people farm, Tyne. Thanks, Clinton. By 2015, it's projected just under half of the total U.S. population will be accessing the internet from their mobile device. In the upcoming 2012 census of agriculture, the USDA will include a new question - asking if farmers use smart-phones for internet access. Those portable devices are an essential tool for today's farmer. Whether it's sitting in meetings, or attending farm shows farmers of all ages are on their phones. And it seems using smartphones in agriculture is a growing trend. For this tobacco farmer, it's more than just the markets and weather. He's able to control a time consuming portion of his operation from his phone. Companies like John Deere are also grasping the trend. Through the JD link mobile application, the time-consuming feat of servicing equipment will become proactive versus reactive for farmers. With more than 80 employees, coordinating people and trucks could be a full-time job for John Stewart. A new mobile application, however, is making that job less time intensive. With a family at home, that's important to Stewart. Farmers don't really know the term "work life balance" because for them, it's 24-7. Smartphones are helping change that. Clinton, although smartphone users have these applications at their fingertips, many phones are actually underutilized. So, many people aren't actually downloading these apps? That's right. A recent study by the Nielsen Company found 25% of smartphone users don't use data at all. The company says people have purchased a device that has more computing power than what was used to send men to the moon, yet they only use their phones to make calls and send text messages.
SOUTHEAST LAND VALUES:
In agribusiness, farmland values have seen a double digit boom across the Midwest. New data from the southeast shows that region isn't keeping pace. The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond just released its latest survey of area ag bankers. That district is reporting good farmland prices in the third quarter are down 4.5% over the previous year. It averaged just over 3,200 dollars an acre. The surveyed-bankers expect land values to continue to weaken.
IN THE COUNTRY; CELERY:
You may like it with peanut butter, cream cheese, or as ants on a log. Maybe it's a snack or part of your favorite soup. No matter how you slice it, celery is a versatile vegetable. And as Tracy Sellers of California bountiful tells us, farmers in the golden state are celebrating this long legged green from farm to fork. Thanks Tracy. Up next, Food and Your Family.
FARMERS FEEDING THE WORLD:
In its effort to alleviate world hunger, the Farm Journal Foundation hit a major goal this week. Its "Farmers Feeding the World" campaign made its largest single commitment to date - a one million dollar grant to Heifer International. Heifer International provides livestock and agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. According to the Farm Journal Foundation, this grant will be targeted to sustainable hunger relief projects in Appalachia, the Arkansas Delta, Haiti and Sierra Leone.
And as Americans spend more of their morning on the go---breakfast is going with them.
Industry experts say more of us are eating smaller servings but multiple times during the morning hours. Gone are the days of big single serve, sit and eat meals of pancakes, eggs, toast and bacon. Now busy households are starting with a smaller quick meal and then having a mid-morning snack. Food companies have caught on to the second breakfast trend. They're now marketing more mid-morning options for consumers.