Amanda Radke, Special to Agweek
In today's digital world, it's easy to be a keyboard cowboy. As agricultural producers, we strive to not only grow and raise nutritious, affordable, safe and abundant food to nourish the world, but we also have the added responsibility of being transparent, explaining our production practices and advocating for our rights to farm in the future.
A devastating storm termed a "bomb cyclone" ripped through America's heartland in mid-March. A perfect storm of wind, rain and snow wreaked havoc on Nebraska and the surrounding region just as calving season had begun for many ranchers. As dams broke, rivers swelled and entire cities were enveloped with raging waters, the destruction is ongoing weeks later.
Just as many environmentalists and media outlets place the blame of climate change on beef cattle production, one organization is praising cattle ranchers for their preservation of grasslands. Kevin Ellison, World Wildlife Fund grassland ecologist for the Northern Great Plains, recently spoke at the 2018 South Dakota Cattlemen's Association's Annual Convention and Trade Show, where he acknowledged the value of cattle grazing for maintaining critical wildlife habitats.
As 2018 draws to a close, foodies and food producers alike are all talking about one major hot topic — cell cultured proteins. In fact, Tyson's Trendtellers recently listed lab meats, and other alternative protein sources, as one of the six emerging food trends for 2019. With investors ramping up production with the intention of rolling out their chicken nuggets, fish filets, eggs and burger patties, all grown in "meat breweries" within the next couple of years, only two hurdles stand in their way — regulations and nomenclature.
Last week, we celebrated Veterans Day — a day to honor the men and women who have bravely served our country, protecting the freedoms and liberties we enjoy here in the great United States of America. With several members of my family, as well as countless friends, who have previously served or are currently on active duty, I've seen first-hand the sacrifices these individuals (and their families back at home) make to keep our nation safe and secure.
The Christmas season is fast approaching, and soon, Black Friday deals, toy catalogs and coupons will fill your mailbox and email account. While many shoppers will line up at the nearest Best Buy to purchase the latest gadget, iPad or smartphone, there's a counter-cultural shift that is getting people excited about disconnecting from the Internet and finding entertainment in a more traditional way — sitting around the table and playing a board game with friends and family. According to ADWEEK, "In the last year, board game sales in the U.S.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of reading my children's book, "Levi's Lost Calf" at the Doland Public School in eastern South Dakota. By invitation of Bailey Coats, the FFA advisor and agricultural teacher in Doland, I presented my story to the elementary students, and I visited with the high school students about career development and pursuing their passions. It was a great opportunity to speak to young people about my own career in agriculture while also sharing the story of cattle and how beef gets from pasture to plate.
In early September, when Miss South Dakota Carrie Wintle traveled to Atlantic City, N.J., to compete for the Miss America crown, she gave a nod to her agricultural roots. In the iconic Show Me Your Shoes Parade, she wore a bold costume complete with high-heels shaped like an ear of corn.
Do you remember the country music song, "Famous in a Small Town" by Miranda Lambert? It's a celebration of rural America and the people who make up these small communities of the flyover states. The lyrics go: "Every last one, route one, rural heart's got a story to tell. Every grandma, in-law, ex-girlfriend maybe knows it just a little too well. Whether you're late for church or you're stuck in jail, hey, word's gonna get around. Everybody dies famous in a small town."
BILLINGS, Mont. — What's at stake? Your steak. And the United States Cattlemen's Association is leading the way in fighting for the future of beef in the meat case. In light of plant-based and lab-grown proteins hitting the shelves, the association has been leading the charge in ensuring that beef's reputation isn't hijacked by alternative protein companies. These efforts were the focus of discussion at the 2018 USCA Annual Meeting & Producer Forum held in Billings, Mont., on Sept. 5-6.