From smartphone apps, to flooding in Denver, to feeding the world, here are three news items ranchers need to hear about this week.
In between preparing for harvest and getting ready for weaning, many of you might not have a spare minute to read a newspaper front to back. No worries. I’ve compiled what you need to know about this week in today’s blog. Here are three news items you should read today.
1. “Farmers Reaping Big Rewards From New Smartphone Apps” by Janet Davison for CBC News
I recently had a reader suggest a blog topic listing the best apps for farmers and ranchers. While I’m still working on completing a full list, here is an article on this topic that addresses the challenges of creating apps for agriculture, as well as a listing of what’s available today to farmers and ranchers. If you have a great app that works well for your operation, send me the details to email@example.com and help me compile a comprehensive list for our readers.
Here is an excerpt from the article, “Mobile technology allows the farmer to break free of cables and cords and notebooks, to the point that we are going to be able to run farms and access more information than ever before on a device that fits in our hand. Smartphones also allow easy access to social media tools such as Twitter, something that can help in reaching out to consumers or giving them the opportunity to ask farmers questions about production.”
2. “American Farmers Say They Feed The World, But Do They?” by Dan Charles for NPR’s The Salt
On average, each U.S. farmer annually feeds 155 people, but does anybody care anymore? Apparently, this statistic, which we so often use to showcase our ability to feed the world, no longer resonates with our consumer. Instead, they think of industrial agriculture, factory farming and cheap food -- probably not the images we are trying to depict.
A clip from the article reads: “Charlie Arnot, from the Center for Food Integrity, recently did a survey, asking consumers whether they think the U.S. even has a responsibility to provide food to the rest of the world. Only 13% of these consumers strongly agreed. In focus groups, many people said that if feeding the world means more industrial-scale farming, they're not comfortable with it. This is not a message farmers like to hear.
"It is a real sense of frustration for farmers that 'feeding the world' is no longer a message that resonates with the American public," Arnot says. He tells farm groups that they'll have to find another message. They'll need to show that the way they grow food is consistent with the values of American consumers.”
What do you think? Are we more focused on producing cheap food to feed the masses? How can agriculture reframe the conversation? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
3. “Ranchers Rescue Horses, Cattle After Seeing Them Alive On TV” by CBS Denver
Limousin breeder and Colorado rancher, Kevin Oschner, who you may recognize from NCBA’s Cattlemen to Cattlemen TV show, made the news recently for helping to save horses and cattle from Colorado floodwaters. Check out the video clip here.
Has your operation been impacted by the flooding? Share your stories below.
Do you have any news to share? Email me your news tips at firstname.lastname@example.org for next week’s compilation. Thanks for your help!
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