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Special Blog Edition: Readers' Findings

img_1368.JPGI'm getting ready to head to Kansas City to speak to the North American Limousin Junior Association's Board of Directors this weekend, and I'm excited to meet with my peers in the beef industry to share ideas and get fired up about the future of agriculture! The best part about this blog is being able to meet and connect with so many of you. I learn so much from hearing your thoughts and taking part in the forums in the comments section, and I'm very grateful for the lasting friendships I'm gaining from my work with BEEF Magazine. In the spirit of building friendships and networking with industry leaders, today's blog post is a special edition compiled by the email alerts I receive from the readers throughout the week. Of course, I have a few things to share, as well, but today's blog post is dedicated to all of you. I'm so lucky to have such passionate and articulate colleagues in food production, and I encourage you to keep sending your comments, emails and suggestions for the future.

Well, let's get started, shall we? I will kick things off with the first news information of interest. I saw on Twitter that HSUS is hosting a Twitpoll that asks this question, "What's the animal welfare issue that you are most passionate about?" Options include: fur, animal fighting, wildlife abuse and hunting, factory farming, puppy mills, the seal hunt, animal testing, horse slaughter, pet overpopulation or other. I hate to promote ANYTHING that HSUS is doing, but I thought it was worth sharing that factory farming is the leading concern with 28% of the votes and horse slaughter has 8% of the votes. What do we do about the nasty word, factory farming? How can we improve our image in the eyes of the consumers? How do we regain their trust?

Karen McMahon, editor of Farm Industry News, passed along this article that could help us to improve our image online. The article titled, Planting cyber seeds, was published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The article is about how Monsanto has used social networking sites to discuss important issues and tackle consumer concerns.

Next, cattle producer Bob from Missouri sent me radio personality Glenn Beck's thoughts, Environmentalists beef on beef. Known for his punchy lines and no fear attitude, Beck predicts in this audio piece that we will soon experience meat restrictions, so head to McDonald's while you still can!

Finally, our last reader, Tricia, sent me an interesting vegan blog titled, "Free-Range is Not the Answer." Tricia says that while this blog entry is a "mixed bag of valid and invalid points," it is worth reading to better understand how vegans view our industry. This would be a great place to tell the animal agriculture story! If you have time, be sure to join the other cattlemen that have commented and leave your thoughts at this vegan blog!

Of course, I can't forget another reader's suggestion to provide quick facts as a toolkit for producers. I love this idea! If you missed yesterday's first Quick Beef Fact, you can find it here. Thanks again for all of the comments and suggestions! I appreciate your participation in this forum! Have a great day!

Quick Beef Fact: Today's U.S. farmer feeds approximately 144 people around the world each year. In the United States, consumers spend less disposable income on groceries than any other place in the world.