5 Misconceptions About The Agriculture Industry, Debunked

5 Misconceptions About The Agriculture Industry, Debunked

Let's talk about Ag.
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Time and time again, I see articles shared throughout my newsfeed about the agriculture industry and its harmful effects on the environment or GMO, natural, and organically raised products being the better products for your health and well-being. However, time and time again, the general public is wrong and uneducated. So, with spring rolling around and farmers itching to get back into the fields, I wanted to address some of the most controversial issues in the agriculture industry and educate the public properly from a farmer's daughter's perspective.

Farmer's need to control their pesticide uses because they are harming the environment.

Wrong. Did you know that "according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, homeowners apply pesticides at a rate up to ten times higher (per acre) than farmers." So while you are trying to kill all of those pesky dandelions that come up every spring and use ten times the amount of chemicals per acre, farmers are using much less and growing the food you eat. Chew on that the next time you want to complain about farmers' negative effects on the environment.

GMO's, or genetically modified organisms, are harmful to my body and to the environment.

Wrong again.

First, genetically modified seeds use fewer amounts of pesticides and chemicals making them better for the environment. Second, have you ever heard the term, "RoundUp Ready Corn?" Well, if not, it is a commonly used genetically modified crop that contains the herbicide Glysophate in it. This herbicide "has toxicity 25 times less than caffeine," making it extremely safe for humans to digest. Yet, farmers still hear the words "GMO's aren't safe" and consumers continually look for products that are coined with labels such as "GMO Free" and "Organic." Farmers eat too, why would we grow products that are harmful to our own bodies?

Antibiotics are harmful to animals.

Sorry, but you're still wrong. Think of the term antibiotics. What do humans use antibiotics for? We definitely don't use them to grow larger bodies physically, a common misconception the general public has about livestock productions. Antibiotics are used to help treat the animals when illnesses arise and also to prevent diseases from occurring. Fun fact, there are also more hormones added to a cup of soy milk than 4 oz. of beef, 30,000 times the amount.

All farms are large corporate farms.

Wrong for the fourth time in a row, I hope you're catching on by now. "97% of all farms are family-owned and operated." Most families have been farming for generations. They live for the land and are continually working to make the land and the food they produce the best it can possibly be.

All farmers are rich.

If you're thinking about becoming a farmer in hopes of getting rich, think again. Farmers don't farm to make huge profits, they farm because they love their jobs. Ask any farmer --there's nothing they would rather be doing than working countless hours in the field tending to their crops or livestock from sun up to sun down. Farming is a life-long investment, millions of dollars are put into the self-employed small businesses they have created. Most of the time, return values aren't seen for generations, and in some cases, even lifetimes.

Lastly, I don't mean to be demeaning in this article at all. I simply want you, the consumer, to be educated before talking poorly about the agriculture industry or the life of a farmer.

Instead of arguing with us, support us. Not only are we a huge industry in America, we feed you every single day.

Today, and every day, make sure to thank a farmer.

Cover Image Credit: Wrights Dairy Farm

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To The Senior Graduating High School In A Month

"What feels like the end, is often the beginning."
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It wasn’t too long ago that I was in your shoes. Just a little over a year ago, I was the senior that had a month left. One month left in the hometown that I grew up in. One month left with the friends that I didn’t want to leave. One month left in the place that I had called “my school” for the past four years. You are probably thinking the same things I thought whenever it came down to only 30 days left. You’re probably scared, nervous, worried, or anxious. Maybe you’re like me and are dying to get out of high school, ready to start a new chapter. Or maybe you aren’t so ready yet. Maybe you’re wishing for a little more time.

As scary as it is, this month you have left will fly by. You’ll blink and you’ll be standing in your cap and gown, waiting for your name to be called to receive your diploma. You’ll look back on your last four years at your school and wonder why time went by so fast. It’ll be bittersweet. However, trust me when I say that you have so much to look forward to. You are about to begin taking the steps to build your future. You are going to grow and learn so much more than any high school class could teach you. You are going to meet amazing people and accomplish amazing things. So, as scared as you might be, I encourage you to take that first step out of your comfort zone and face this world head on. Chase your dreams and work towards your goals. You are smart. You are brave. You are capable of achieving amazing things. All your life, the lessons you have learned have prepared you for this point in your life. You are more than ready.

There are times when you will feel alone, scared, or confused. There are times when it won’t always be easy. But those are the times when you will shine the most because I know you will work through whatever problems you may face. Don’t think of the bad times as a terrible thing. Use them all as learning experiences. As author Joshua Marine once said, “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

You might think that this is the end. However, it’s not. This is only the beginning. Trust me when I say that the adventures and opportunities you are about to face are nothing compared to high school. Whether you are going to college, going to work, or something else, this is the beginning of your journey called life. It will be exciting, it will be terrifying, but it will all be worth it.

So, as you walk out of your high school for the very last time, I encourage you to take a deep breath. Relax. You’ll always have the memories to look back on from high school. But your time is now, it begins today. Embrace it.

Cover Image Credit: http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1152445/images/o-HIGH-SCHOOL-GRADUATION-facebook.jpg

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I Wasn't Always Lactose Intolerant, But Now That I Am, I Can Confirm — It Sucks

I see all of my friends eating ice cream and drinking bubble until their heart's content, but I can't say the same thing about myself.

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The thing is that I wasn't always lactose intolerant. In fact, before college, I was able to eat as much ice cream and mac and cheese as I wanted, and I was able to drink a glass of milk and have milk with cereal. But ever since coming to college, for some reason, my body decided that it was time to start rejecting dairy, and it picked the wrong time to do so.

Last semester, I went to get breakfast, and I decided to get a bowl of Fruit Loops, and I poured some milk into it. While I was eating, there was no problem, and I went about everything as I normally would, but it was when I went back to my dorm that my stomach started feeling...not so right. My stomach was hurting and I felt bloated. I was hoping that it was only because the cereal may have been old or the utensils that I was using may not have been cleaned well enough, so I stayed optimistic (for too long, in all honesty).

The following weeks, I had cereal a few more times, and I also ate some ice cream and mac and cheese, and every time, the same thing happened, and I had to convince myself that deep down, I knew what this meant. I sort of panicked because it was all so sudden. I was perfectly able to tolerate dairy right before college started, but now, I can't even handle a cup of ice cream.

I have to constantly monitor how much dairy I consume because if I consume more than my maximum amount, it's not going to end up well. Sometimes, I see my friends' iced milk tea whenever we're on the train, and I envy them because I try to avoid anything with dairy when I'm taking any sort of transportation. I think the worst part is that every time I pass by the Chatime truck, I have to fight the temptation of getting a cup of boba, especially during this time of year on the warmer days. I always walk by the crowd huddled around the cart, wishing I was them. It sounds kind of sad because it is.

Now, I may be lactose intolerant, but that doesn't mean that I don't consume dairy at all. There are days when I get out of chemistry lab, needing to treat myself to something for standing and stressing out for three hours straight, so I order myself a large Jasmine green milk tea, completely ignoring the consequences of my actions. There are even nights after dinner where I'll get two or three cups of ice cream, and I'm not going to lie, I regret it afterward half of the time.

My body may not thank me, but quite frankly, I can't go forever without eating dairy because...do I even have to say it?

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