March 2016

Was your grocery store stocked with nutritious food this year? Did you eat watermelon on Independence Day, pick apples in the fall and mash potatoes for Thanksgiving? This March 15th on National Ag Day, remember to #ThankAFarmer for continuing to produce your favorite foods throughout the year!

Every year on National Ag Day, organizations across the country gather to celebrate the food, fiber and fuel grown by American agriculture. Producers, government officials, ag-related organizations including from the crop protection industry, and countless others hold and attend events to recognize how much agriculture contributes to our daily lives. The crop protection industry is proud to support America’s farmers by providing them with tools to defend their fields from pests and disease. For more information on National Ag Day and National Ag Week (March 13-19), visit www.agday.org.

How Much Pesticide Do Farmers Use? Not a “Latte”!

Farmers use crop protection tools to protect their fields from threats, but how much and how often? Many consumers may not understand just how little pesticide growers apply to their crops, and how important an effect it has! To address this issue and more, a group of farmers has founded the organization,CommonGround, in conjunction with the United Soybean Board and the National Corn Growers Association. Their mission is to generate conversation about the food they grow and how it’s produced by sharing personal experience, science and research. Check out their most recent video, Not a “Latte”, which illustrates the typical amount of crop protection products that farmers apply to their fields.

World Water Day Poster

Every year on March 22nd, World Water Day recognizes the importance of freshwater and the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Farmers depend on water to irrigate and grow crops the world relies on and conservation tillage, aided by the use of crop protection products, is one way in which farmers preserve water quality. Read more about the importance of water to the growing process and how farmers help preserve water quality in CLA’s poster, World Water Day.

Tell Me More Most Popular Tweets

  • Raise a glass to #LeapYear! DYK pesticides protect wine grapes from powdery mildew which could reduce yield by 80%? goo.gl/lA7l5k
  • Are you an #agvocate? Enter @FarmBureau’s #iAdvocate contest for a chance to win a $100 gift card! goo.gl/jBPyMM
  • Plant for #pollinators! @Pollinators’ guides help you select plants for #bees tailored to specific areas of the US goo.gl/25q20c

Why do people engage on social media? To be heard! And now there’s a new vehicle for ag communication online: the Digital Voices initiative launched by U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA).

Digital Voices is a blogger community that allows participants to create content, respond to existing posts and provide additional insights and input on agriculture’s core issues. The community operates on a volunteer basis, and the individuals selected to blog will work with USFRA and industry partners to contribute content at least once a month. Selection criteria for bloggers includes:

  • An existing strong social media presence;
  • Regular content updates to either a blog or website;
  • Knowledge on one of the core issues (antibiotics and hormones, animal welfare, GMOs, crop inputs and sustainability);
  • A desire to further the dialogue between farmers/ranchers and consumers;
  • Experience speaking to and/or educating consumers on today’s agricultural practices.

Interested in sharing your voice in the Digital Voices community? Apply to join online.

Tell Me More Blog

Searching for perspectives on the benefits of today’s agricultural methods? Read the Tell Me More blog for in-depth information on timely topics to share with family and friends.

Photo from #iAdvocate campaign

High School Students Show Their Support for Modern Ag!

A classroom of high school students from Kentucky recently completed theMaster’s in Modern Ag honorary degree program, including all three specialty certifications. Each student had a lot to say in support of modern ag! Read some of their thoughts below:

“The biggest public misconception about agriculture is that it’s old school. People still believe that all agriculture is, is some old farmer out there plowing a field on his [tractor] or feeding some cows. The public does not understand how highly advanced farming has become. I mean don’t get me wrong, that farmer still is out there plowing on his [tractor], but now he is using a GPS system that allows him to drive the tractor around the field without even touching the wheel…A good way to show the public how advanced farming has become would be to interview old farmers that are still farming today. They could give first hand accounts on how technology in farming has changed over the years and how much easier it is now with the new technology then it was in the past.”

“I know many people who are closely involved in agriculture. [Sometimes] I see people who aren’t in agriculture and I hear them speak of how they believe we are miserable out there on a farm, [yet] the people [working in agriculture that] I know are happy and love their work with animals and others. The people who aren’t in agriculture don’t usually understand how sometimes it is fun. They think we are suffering being put to work and that we just do it because we are told [to farm] by generations of our parents. [In reality,] we choose to do it because it gives us structure and is actually kind of fun when you get into it. Agriculture isn’t just plants and animals, it is a way to have fun and help people.”

“There are many ways that a high school student can support modern agriculture; however, I support modern agriculture by being active in my FFA chapter and supporting my Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE). By doing these things, I can help out in the community and help to inform the community about the importance of agriculture. Just recently, our FFA chapter had an Agriculture Awareness Day in which students from the middle school come to our school and students in FFA participate in informing these students about the different aspects of agriculture.  This is just one small example of how I support modern agriculture in America and in my community.”

Is Your Group Visiting DC? Come Meet CLA Staff and Learn About TMM!

Throughout the year, CLA staff are pleased to give in-person presentations on the TMM program to groups visiting the Washington, DC area. In early February, CLA welcomed fellows of the Nebraska LEAD Program, hosted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Now in its 35th year, the Nebraska LEAD Program is recognized as one of the strongest agricultural development programs in the U.S., and this year’s group of fellows included producers as well as representatives from agricultural businesses, such as financial and lending institutions. The group was excited to learn more about the TMM program and looked forward to using TMM materials. One participant shared the following with CLA:

“For my career, I manage farm/ranch land for absentee landowners (majority reside in the US, but some are international).  Not a month goes by that I have to inform an owner or one of their family members on the benefits of using GMO’s, proper fertilizer/herbicide applications, different farming practices used, and what it really means to move to organic. Whenever I see a good informative article on these items or others, I try to copy it and send it to all my owners.”

 

– Lloyd, Nebraska
If your group is interested in learning more about TMM, let CLA know! For more information, contact Whitney Gray, communications coordinator at CLA, by email at wgray@croplifeamerica.org or by phone at 202-872-3847.

2016 Nebraska LEAD fellows with CLA staff