mission to promote agriculture, we will be highlighting a wide variety of blogs from farmers, ranchers and other agriculture professionals. If you have an idea for a submission (or would like us to feature your blog) email Julianne Johnston for consideration.

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Sep 21, 2014
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October 2011 Archive for Blogging for Agriculture

RSS By: Pro Farmer Editors, Pro Farmer

As part of Pro Farmer's mission to promote agriculture, we will be highlighting a wide variety of blogs from farmers, ranchers and other agriculture professionals. If you have an idea for a submission (or would like us to feature your blog) email Julianne Johnston for consideration.

'Pass the Cheetos & Drop the Food Guilt'

Oct 25, 2011

The following blog was submitted by Michele Payn-Knoper, nationally known professional speaker and founder of Cause Matters Corp., an orgnization to help people learn how to champion their cause.

Pass the Cheetos & Drop the Food Guilt

by Michele Payn-Knoper (click here for link to her twitter page)

I love Cheetos. I’ve been known to eat more ice cream than a 200 pound man. My sweet tooth sometimes results in a meal made of desserts. And look out if you ever wave a piece of milk chocolate in front of me!

My food. My diet. My lifestyle. My choice. I don’t need the guilt trip running rampant in food claims today. I also adore cucumbers, get really excited about fresh fruit and grow at least 10 kinds of vegetables in our garden. Our little girl delights in telling her classmates that her favorite food is raw spinach and keeps a cow employed with her milk consumption. We get fast food at times because it’s quick – and it’s better than being hungry. I refuse to accept the guilt trip that it makes me a bad mother. One fast food place we won’t stop is Chipolte’s – because they lay on the food guilt thicker than sour cream with their claims and labels that are an insult to our upbringing.

I also don’t need food guilt in the grocery. Food is natural, whether it’s written on a label or not – if you don’t know that Cheetos aren’t natural, more than a label is needed. By the same token, absence claim labels are ridiculous – they were started by retailers with an interest in niche marketing. Do you really think those labels are there with your best interest in mind or to create a seed of self-doubt? The self-doubt will lead to you feeling guilty that you’re not doing the right thing as a parent or "eating right," resulting in a change of buying behavior.

Food should be fairly simple – you choose it, you eat it and you take responsibility for the results. In other words, if I eat like a cow and gain weight – I have to spend more time on the bike or throwing bales. My weight gain and health condition is not McDonald’s fault, it’s not the company’s fault who made the Cheetos (yum) and it certainly isn’t the corn, cane or dairy producers’ fault. The food on my fork is my responsibility.

Before you judge me as a food slob, consider this; I work out at least three times a week and am not known for sitting still. I serve home-cooked, low fat meals to our family and carefully monitor our balance of protein, fruits and veggies. Except when we’re on vacation; then we eat Cheetos with cookies on the side and ice cream for breakfast. Based upon conversations with my girlfriends, we’re fairly normal. You’re welcome to judge that all you want – but spare me the guilt.

Today (Oct. 24) is Food Day, put together by an activist group that specializes in guilt trips, the Center for Science in the Public Interest. How about this? We celebrate World Food Day by stopping the food guilt. Celebrate the opportunity for people to make food choices by saying no to the guilt thrown at us in every venue about food and farming. Unless you’ve visited modern day farm yourself, don’t call a farm a factory just because it looks different than your Charlotte’s Web book. Take responsibility for your own junk food addictions and don’t blame marketers or producers. If you don’t feel great because of your diet, learn more about healthy foods from a registered dietitian (thank you, American Dietetic Association for not endorsing any food guilt claims).

And consider that sustainable farms are those that can survive as a business – meaning it’s O.K. if they make money. I’d hope the most important measure of a sustainable farm and Food Day (#FoodDay on twitter) is meeting the needs of a growing population. 9 billion mouths is a lot to feed by 2050. It will take a variety of farms, a reduction in food politics, modern agricultural practices and less of the food guilt to draw in the folks "in the middle" who could likely make a real difference in a food movement. Join me in standing up against the food guilt!


'I Care For Them As Good As You Do'

Oct 14, 2011

The following blog was submitted by Crystal Young -- a woman with a passion for telling agriculture’s story through social media. She reaches out to consumers and other agriculturist at www.crystalcattle.com, a blog about the life of a farm girl, cattle and turquoise jewelry. 

I care for them as good as you do

by Crystal Cattle (click here for link to her twitter page)

Putting my animals' needs before my own. 

Remember that AWFUL story about the animal abuse at the E6 Cattle, a dairy in Texas? I was disgusted with the disrespect and lack of care shown to those calves. The story was broke by a Mercy For Animals uncover investigator. I was also appalled that their uncover agent could stand there and not help those animals. I have the same about of respect for that person as the persons committing the abuse - NONE.

Mercy For Animals decided to give a six month update on four of the calves that they rescued, and placed on their farm sanctuary. I am appreciative of them for helping these animals and nurturing them back to health.

They make two statements in the article:

"...with round the clock attention, love and veterinary care, all four calves are now healthy, strong and enjoying the good life."

"While the recovery of these beautiful calves inspires hope, there are still many animals suffering at the hands of the meat, dairy and egg industries today. Luckily, each of us can help prevent the needless cruelty and violence these animals endure by making the switch to a healthy and compassionate vegan diet."

Now I would like to provide a statement. 

My family, fiancé's and I give our animals all the attention they need - no it's not around the clock, but at 3 o'clock in the morning my cows are sleeping and don't need anything, so we are in bed, that's unless they decide 3 o'clock is a great time to calf. Then out of bed we climb. 

Our calves and cows' health is our number priority. We consult with both veterinarians and nutritionists to ensure that we have a proper health and nutrition plan set up for our animals. I really do love our cattle. The Boy and I had a calf get really sick and die this fall. We saw his symptoms early on, had a vet come out to do a check up and treated him with the prescribed medicines, but he still died. It broke both the Boy and I's heart to lose him. Our animals are part of our family. 

However, in saying all this I am still going to eat meat. You eating meat has nothing to go with the level of care given or not given to animals. And because we have lots of choices you can either go to Wal-mart and purchase your beef or you can go to a local farmer and purchase you beef. Both equally suitable options, you make the choice. 

Don't let groups like MFA, HSUS and PETA fool you.
I do everything in my power to ensure that my animals are care of, and that other people in the farming and ranching industry are doing the same. 


Fat and happy Hereford cows at JJB Cattle Co.




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