There are many myths about agriculture. The purpose of this page is to help dyspell myths and provide factual information for consumers. The information is divided into three sections: Livestock Production, Crop Production and Food & Diet information.
MYTH: Farm animals are routinely raised on "factory farms," confined in "crowded, unventilated cages and sheds."
FACT: Animals are generally kept in barns and similar housing, with the exception of beef cattle, to protect the health and welfare of the animal. Housing protects animals from predators, disease, and bad weather or extreme climate. Housing also makes breeding and birth less stressful, protects young animals and makes it easier for farmers to care for both healthy and sick animals. Modern housing is well ventilated, warm, well-lighted, clean and scientifically designed for the specific needs of the animal, such as the regular availability of fresh water and a nutritionally balanced diet. For instance, a hog barn wouldn't be used for cows, any more than an adult would sleep in a child's crib. Housing is designed to allow the farmer to provide the best animal care.
More livestock production myths.
MYTH: Farming in the United States is controlled by large corporations that care about profits and not about animal welfare.
FACT: Of the 2.2 million farms in the United States, 87% are owned by an individual or a married couple responsible for operating the farm. If partnerships – typically a parent and one or more children or other close relatives – are added to this total, 97% of U.S. farms are family-owned and operated, according to the USDA. Even those farms that are legally corporations are generally family controlled, with USDA reporting only 7,000 non-family-controlled corporate farms in the United States.
More crop production myths.
MYTH: By eating less meat, Americans would improve the environment and free land and resources for the production of food crops rather than animal products that could be used to feed the hungry overseas.
FACT: The optimal use of natural resources involves use of both animals and plants to produce the nutrients that humans require. For example, about half the land area of the United States is strictly grazing land – not suitable for crop production. That land would be of no use as a food resource if it were not for ruminant, grazing livestock. The United States has more than enough cropland to grow both feed grains and food crops.
More food & diet myths.