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Monday, October 29, 2012

New Member Alert - Lacey Robinson



We have some fresh faces around Food For Thought these days - we held a membership drive in August and September and have some great new minds who are excited about agriculture among our ranks! Periodically, you'll see their bios here so that you can get to know them. This post is about new member Lacey Robinson, a student at the College of Veterinary Medicine here at K-State.


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I am currently a first-year student at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine with aspirations of someday serving rural Kansas as a food animal veterinarian. For the past year I have lived on a farm near Olsburg, Kansas where we raise Angus cattle, grain and hay.

My passion has always been rooted in all aspects of production animal agriculture and the well-being of those animals which we rely on for survival and enjoyment. For generations my family has been devoted to livestock production (beef cattle, hogs, sheep, horses) and the way of life it represents.

Food For Thought is a great way to bridge the gap in communication between interested consumers and livestock producers like myself. We are proud of the tasty, wholesome food we bring to your table and enjoy sharing the miraculous story of how it gets there! This blog is a welcome opportunity to take part in dialog regarding current issues in agriculture and the future of our food supply. I look forward to contributing to this worthy cause and hearing what’s on your mind.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fall Upson Lecture Series Speaker

Finally!

Food For Thought is thrilled to announce that our Fall Upson Lecture Series speaker will be Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman!

The lecture will take place in the K-State Student Union Main Ballroom at 7 pm on November 5 - put it on your calendar!


Secretary Rodman will address pertinent issues surrounding the recent drought and how it has affected food production and the agriculture industry’s challenge of feeding the world. Furthermore, the impending increase in the cost of food, which affects families from all demographics, will be discussed at length. The lecture is free and open to the public and will be followed by a question and answer session.

We're very excited about this lecture - it promises to be a very informative evening that will highlight some very critical issues in the agriculture industry! 

Tell your friends and be sure to follow our Facebook page and twitter feed (@fftgroup) for updates and information. If you have questions, feel free to post them in the comments section, tweet or Facebook us and we'll get back to you!


Monday, October 22, 2012

New Member Alert - Kyra Mathis

We have some fresh faces around Food For Thought these days - we held a membership drive in August and September and have some great new minds who are excited about agriculture among our ranks! Periodically, you'll see their bios here so that you can get to know them. This post is about new member Kyra Mathis, a student at the College of Agriculture here at K-State.

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I am a freshmen in Food Science and Industry at Kansas State University.   I’m from the suburb of Saint Charles, Missouri (Just outside Saint Louis) where I was born and raised. I have grown up always having an interest in food, where it comes from, and how it gets on my plate. I’m very excited as to what is in my future as I progress through my college experience and the new knowledge I will gain.

Monday, October 15, 2012

New Member Alert - Alex Moran


We have some fresh faces around Food For Thought these days - we held a membership drive in August and September and have some great new minds who are excited about agriculture among our ranks! Periodically, you'll see their bios here so that you can get to know them. This post is about new member Alex Moran, a first year student at the College of Veterinary Medicine here at K-State.

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Hi guys! My name is Alex Moran and I’m a first year veterinary medical student here at Kansas State University.  I’m originally from Hays, Kansas and have spent the past three years as an undergrad at K-State studying animal science.  After I’m done with what seems like a ridiculous about of schooling, I want to own a mixed animal practice in Kansas (even though cats and dogs are my true loves).  The past few years, I’ve been very involved with my sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and working for K-State’s New Student Services.  Other than that I really love spending time with the people I love, country music, a good book, rain, Kansas, and most importantly my cat, Bear.  I do not have an extensive agriculture background, other than growing up in Western Kansas and a farming brother-in-law.  I do, however, know just how vital agriculture is to each and every person in the world.   I am excited to grow in my knowledge this year in Food for Thought and I look forward to sharing that experience with all of you throughout the year :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

New Member Alert -- Nicole Born

We have some fresh faces around Food For Thought these days - we held a membership drive in August and September and have some great new minds who are excited about agriculture among our ranks! Periodically, you'll see their bios here so that you can get to know them. This post is about new member Nicole Born, a student at the College of Veterinary Medicine here at K-State.

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I am Nicole Born.  I’m originally from a small family farm located just northeast of Topeka, KS where we raise Polled Hereford cattle and dairy and meat goats.  I have a BS in Agriculture from K-State and I’m currently a sophomore in the College of Veterinary Medicine.  Those that knew me in undergrad would know me as Nicole Rosencutter, but I got married to Jonathan Born, another College of Ag grad, in July 2011.  I am very excited to get involved with Food For Thought!  Agriculture has been, is, and will always be my passion.  I have always been involved in the agricultural industry through our family farm and staying involved in many ag activities throughout undergrad and vet school.  A few years ago, I had the opportunity for training through the National Beef Ambassador program with Trent Loos.  At that event, he had us practice “grace under fire”, rapid questioning regarding the agriculture industry.  Since that time, I have had an even stronger passion for being an advocate for agriculture and I’ve had the opportunity to inform others about the industry through various activities and within my vet school class.  After graduating, I plan to practice in a mixed animal practice in a rural community, probably around Lebo, KS, where my husband’s family farm is located.  I am so excited to get involved with this group to strengthen my knowledge of current events in agriculture, further practice my communication skills, and spread the word about this amazing industry on our campus and beyond!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Three-foot Tall Cattle


The average American today is two generations removed from the farm. We’ve all heard the statistic, but what does it really mean? In my mind, it’s a critical junction. If you’re two generations removed from the farm, you share my experience of visiting your Grandparents’ farm growing up. This two-generations-removed group remembers the passion their grandparents had for the land and animals of which they were stewards.

The generation coming up will be three generations removed from the farm. They won’t have the same memories of spending time with grandparents in pastures, fields, and barns. Besides being end users of our products, many of them will lack any personal connection with production agriculture.

The Emporia Gazette, a Kansas newspaper, last week featured an article that provided an example of just what this removal from agriculture can look like. Hope you enjoy hearing about the three-feet tall cattle.

- Chelsea Good 

By The Emporia Gazette

Animal rightist’s hissy fit over State Fair regulations is only their latest attempt to invade Kansas. Like our Great Plains neighbors to the north, Kansas is a state where many citizens are only a relative or two away from someone who works on a ranch, transports cattle, or processes beef.

This is a state where rodeo is an important sport. Where a significant number of farm kids learn to take care of their animals. And where 4-H kids sign an intent-to-sell form when they show their sheep at the county fairs in August.

Animal rightists occasionally come to Kansas to picket the entrances of our big meat processing plants. The truckers carefully maneuver around them and give a friendly wave or nod. After a few days of polite Kansas hospitality and absolutely nothing to make newspaper headlines, they usually pack up and go back home.

Unfortunately, times are changing. That sign about one Kansas farmer feeds a hundred and some people will have to be changed upward. Fewer kids are living on farms as our western counties are depopulating. That means that over the long term, fewer future citizens of Kansas will have their views of animal care grounded in the realities of a rural experience.

Our grandparents knew what butcher knives were used for. This first stage of food preparation was a visible and natural process. The children of China (outside of their urban areas) still witness meat processing in the street markets on their way home from school everyday. You can be sure that animal rights organizations would get little traction in your grandparent’s day, or in countries like China today.

But in America, meat processing has moved to local lockers and large assembly line plants where the process is no longer visible. Generations are growing up with little connection between the farm animal, the processing plant, and the meat on the table.

Children are particularly isolated on the coasts, where new city ordinances outlaw the sale of furs and egg farmers must uncage their chickens. Well, Kansas is not California and we are proud of that.

Kansas benefits from a citizenry that understands the role of animals. After agriculture and aircraft and military, animals are another major industry.

Stretching from Manhattan to Kansas City is a major animal bio-research corridor. Medical and pharmaceutical companies from around the world conduct required animal tests on their products right here in Kansas. The ultra-secure animal bioterrorism test facility (NBAF) was a natural for K-State since a similar small facility was already here. And one Kansas town probably is the dog food capital of the world.

Why Kansas? We know where our hamburger comes from.

Every Kansas child of the 1800s knew animals. Today, far fewer have the opportunity. If education was designed so that every child spent a summer on a farm or ranch where they could work with animals up close, there would be very few animal rightists.

One day I ended the nutrition section of my biology class by mentioning that some city folks do not know that milk comes from cows. After class, a student from a wealthy suburb came up to object: “I know milk comes from cows!”

“And where have you seen cows?” I asked.

“While I was driving down the superhighway,” he replied. “Cows are all over the grasslands.”

“And how tall is a cow?” I asked.

“About this high, I guess,” and he held his hand out at about three feet, the size of a big dog!

He may have known — in an abstract way — that milk came from cows.

But he didn’t really “know” a cow.

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