Accepting the challenge
RIVERSIDE — Trent Loos said, Saturday night as he took the microphone at the annual Washington County Corn, Soybean and Pork Producers Banquet, that when Washington County Pork Board President Tim Brenneman introduced him, Brenneman should have made something up.
On the stage of the events center at the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort, Loos cut quite a figure in his 10-gallon hat and with his handlebar moustache. The sixth-generation dairy farmer and radio personality from central Nebraska took some time to poke some fun at several people in the front row, much to the delight of the rest of the audience that filled the room. It was after that when Loos, through stories about amazing people he has met, told the audience about the importance of agriculture in the world.
“I got fed up with the people listening to the celebrities from Hollywood and listening to people who do not get their hands dirty producing food talking about how food is really produced,” Loos said. “I thought at the time that there was too many Americans who do not know where their food comes from, so I was going to find a way to bridge the gap.”
He said that the biggest challenge is not that too many Americans don’t know where food comes from, but that too many Americans believe too much of what they know isn’t true. He said his goal is to educate 314 million Americans about food production.
Through several anecdotes chronicling people Loos knows — from a woman Loos met in a convenience store, to people he has met on airplanes, to Loos’ daughter — he told stories of how he has found agriculture to be viewed in the United States.
In summary, Loos said that the two most important people to the United States in the future will be farmers and soldiers. He said that farmers will ensure essentials of life — food, pharmaceuticals and fuel. He also said soldiers will ensure the continued freedom of American citizens.
Loos encouraged the food producers gathered to speak up for their profession and not let people get away with spreading misinformation. He said the information would be spread quickly if each producer would accept the challenge to educate others about the workings of food production.
“In your church functions; in your community functions; in your school functions, you hear people misspeak, about what you know to be true about protecting the environment and producing a safe supply of food for the consumer, ” Loos said. “You have two choices: continue to walk away and say ‘they just don’t get it’, or turn to them and say ‘this is what we have done in Washington County Iowa and across the nation, not only to grow more food, but to improve the environment.’”