Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/71819

Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 23, 2014

Farmers urged to defend, protect agriculture

By Linda Wenger | Sep 09, 2010
The Washington County Farm Bureau’s annual meeting began with a dinner at the KC Hall Thursday night. A business meeting and a guest speaker followed the meal.

   The message to Washington County Farm Bureau members Thursday night was to be prepared to defend themselves in order to protect everyone’s right to choose the kind of food they want to eat.

    That was the message of Tim Niess of Des Moines, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation field service manager. He spoke at the Washington County Farm Bureau’s annual meeting.

    Niess also said that the guests he and his wife host at their bed and breakfast care about America’s family farmers and want them to be protected.

    “Average, everyday Americans are very interested in what you’re doing,” he said.

    Niess said that there is a lot of misinformation about farmers and their operations and that the misinformation is driving changes in regulations and laws affecting agriculture. That means that farmers may have fewer choices on how to grow food, which in turn, would lead to fewer choices for consumers. The economics of the situation will lead to higher prices.

    He said Americans who drive interstate highways and pass farm field after farm field think that they are seeing corporate farms. One fact farmers and consumers need to know is that 98 percent of America’s farmland is farmed by farm families — not large corporations. Two other facts Niess stated is that farmers have decreased soil erosion by 50 percent since 1980 and they have increased their production since 1950 by 360 percent on 15 percent less land.

    “Do you know any other industry that has done that — that is close to it?” he said.

For the full story, see the Sept. 10 edition of The Washington Evening Journal

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