Subway, Antibiotics, Consumers, Farmers, and Understanding

Dear Subway, Consumers and Ag Community,

Subway,
Do you Understand that all meat is inspected and checked for antibiotic residue?

Do you Understand that if antibiotic residue is found the meat is rejected well before coming to your store?

Do you Understand that denying antibiotics to a sick animal can result in death?

Consumers,
While the use of antibiotics in the meat you eat can sound scary:

Do you Understand that there is no residue of antibiotics allowed in the meat you consume?

Do you Understand that antibiotics are expensive and that farmers only use them when needed to improve the health of the animal or prevent its death?

Do you Understand that this decision by Subway really doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of products they sell, because there was never any antibiotics in the products they sell in the first place?

Agricultural Community:
Do you Understand that Subway caved to pressures from outside groups and that of consumers to make this decision and that it’s nothing personal against you?

Do you Understand that a growing number of consumers are demanding antibiotic free meats for one reason or another?

Do you Understand that this means that animals who have to be administered antibiotics will merely have to be separated from the others and sold to a different market than Subway?

Do you Understand that you need to listen to, more than talk to, your consumers so that you are knowledgable about their concerns and what products they want?

Subway, Consumers, and Ag Community:

Do you all Understand that listening to each other, and developing a mutual understanding of each others concerns, knowledge and desires are the key to our future?

If you have said no or are unsure of any of the answers to the questions above, I encourage you to talk directly to Subway, Talk to directly Consumers, Talk directly to Farmers who raise your meats, and listen, learn and Understand.

Thank you,
Boucher Farms

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What’s in a name? “The Farm Bill”

Whats in a name?  The answer is everything!  A “Name” includes someones or somethings reputation, personality, perspective, etc etc.  For instance, if you go to purchase a Chevy, Ford or another brand of Truck, you expect to get a quality Truck.  When you visit your local cafe you expect to sit down to a good meal.  When you hear the words “Farm Bill” in the media or elsewhere it would be logical to expect the bill to revolve around Farming, Right?  Wrong.  Let me explain:

image

As you can see in this chart, the “Farm Bill” mainly consists of government funding for Food stamps.  80% of it to be exact, which translates to 82 billion (with a B) dollars!

So if 80% of the “Farm Bill” doesn’t go to “Farm” purposes then the other 20% must right?  Wrong again.

Of the 20% of the “Farm Bill” funding left after Food Stamp funding is removed, another 6% is taken out for Conservation purposes.

So we started with a “Farm Bill”, removed 80% of it to cover non farm costs, in the form of food stamps, then removed another 6% for Conservation.  This leaves a mere 14% of the initial “Farm Bill” to actually be put to use on Americas Farms to increase our nations food security.

Where do the truth in advertising laws kick in here?  If you bought that Truck from above, and 86% of it turned out to be a Car you may not be too satisfied.  If you went to that cafe and realized 86% of it was a bar, you may be disappointed.   So why is the “Farm Bill” still named the Farm Bill?  Well, its simple, it always has been and probably always will be, even if its incorrect. 

If you had the chance to rename the “Farm Bill” what would it be?
      (Leave your comment below)

Thank you for reading, and God Bless!

Are College Degrees Surrounding Food and Animals and Plants Really “Useless”?

While doing my usual scroll through the social media landscape yesterday I discovered Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to be abuzz about what College degrees were useful in today’s society and which were not.  Having a Degree from Iowa State University myself, I found myself interested in finding out what degrees were deemed useless based on facts.  So I clicked on the article that everyone seemed to be talking about

http://education.yahoo.net/articles/most_useless_degrees.htm.

The Yahoo article turned out to be a blog post of sorts citeing info from the Department of Labor (indirectly) with quite a few of the authors opinions mixed in and few real facts.   So what were the top five listed “Useless Degrees” you ask?

  1. Agriculture
  2. Fashion Design
  3. Theater
  4. Animal Science
  5. Horticulture

Judging by this list, apparently no one needs to :

  1. Eat
  2. Wear Clothes
  3. Watch Actors on TV or Broadway
  4. Have pets care options
  5. Have any Landscaping around their houses, Golf Courses, Football Fields, or local Flower shops.

From a guys point of view, we need all of these!  WE love to eat good food provided by farmers and others in the Ag industry, we can’t live without a good pair of Jeans and a T-shirt, there are few things better than watching a great action movie, mans best friend needs a good vet like Kata Nichols (a vet with a Animal Science Degree) to go to once in a while, and sometimes most importantly us guys need a good local Florist to provide us with flowers for our wives/girlfriends or both (just kidding) from time to time.  Not to exclude the girls, but lets face it, while the the above could be said for you too gals too, I doubt you buy flowers for the guy in your life.

After reading the article I began to think about the value of my degree I worked hard to get, a Bachelors in Agricultural Business.  While I was fortunate enough to be able to come home to work on and eventually take over the everyday operations of our farm, there were many other job opportunities along the way that my Ag Degree allowed me to pursue.  I recall going to an agricultural job fair at ISU where countless companies from all across the country were actively seeking those with Ag Degrees to work for them.  No Degree…NO Job.  It’s that simple.  I wonder if going to the job fair was “useless”  hmm….  NO.   Like I said above, I didn’t take any of those 9-5 jobs which my degree allowed me to enter into, however I do work in the AG field on my own farm.  While I may not need a degree to run my farm, I value it and the education I received greatly because it helps me everyday, in every decision I make which in turn makes my farm better than it would have without a degree.  Many others in my situation would agree.

AG FACTS:

  1. Nearly 30 percent of today’s farmers and ranchers have attended college, with over half of his group obtaining a degree. A growing number of today’s farmers and ranchers with four-year college degrees are pursuing post-graduate studies
  2. Agriculture employs 17% of the U.S. workforce, or about 23 million people.
  3. Agriculture employs more than six times as many workers a the U.S. automotive industry

Back to the original article,  In response to the article a Facebook Page was quickly created appropriately named

“I Studied Agriculture, and I have a Job”

 https://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Studied-Agriculture-I-Have-A-Job/306700539376086?sk=wall

 Almost immediately the page took off and was running…well sprinting…well…something faster than that, maybe like a speeding Indy Car.  It seemed to be gaining exponential popularity as the day went on.  As of this morning, less than 24 hours into the pages young life it had over 2500 likes and growing.  As for the time this post was written, it is boasts over 2700 likes.  Countless posts on the page have stated what degree the posting person has, how they use it and why they believe the article to be in error.  Recently other media types have even picked up on the flaws of the Yahoo Article like those listed below:

The Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allen-s-levine/useless-college-majors_b_1217401.html

And AG DAY on YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5l_d3zdx0jI&feature=share

And even other media stations like WIBW.

http://www.wibw.com/blogs/melissa/Useless_Degrees_This_List_Doesnt_Sit_Well_137706603.html

An Agricultural Photographer https://www.facebook.com/#!/lens.of.a.farm.girl Posted these pictures

https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=314532528589459&set=a.314531975256181.70626.309663002409745&type=1&theater

https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=314532841922761&set=a.314531975256181.70626.309663002409745&type=1&theater

In the end, if the author was looking for attention he got it.  But in the end, which is more useless, the degree or the article?   In my honest opinion even this flawed article wasnt totally useless because it had 2 items of value.

  1. It brought the AG, Animal Science and Horticulture (all 3 of which are Agriculture Based) together
  2. It proves just how important the AG industry is to our world, and how many jobs are out there for those with AG Degrees.

So, I suppose, in a weird way, we should Thank the author for not doing his homework, studying his sources, or filling in the blanks (so to speak) on his article.  Wait…that kinda sounds like what we all had to complete to get our degrees doesnt it?  Have a great day, and God Bless!

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