Monthly Archives: September 2011

Oregon State University-Community Agriculture Literacy

Editorial Posting

What a week for editorials in the Corvallis, Oregon Gazette Times. It was brought to my attention on Tuesday evening of an editorial about the Oregon State University (OSU) College of Agricultural Sciences (CAS) program was yet again under attack from a member of the community.

This time the writer happens to be completely uneducated about the actual practices at Oregon State University. Here is a screen shot of her note, but my thought, don’t write something like this with some facts.

I am going to answer her questions/statements:

Question 1: Why isn’t this lady pushing for the addition of a new degree program in the CAS? Doesn’t she want to fund that program?

Question 2: OSU does have a Food Science program. I am guessing that if they had the funding and a researcher interested in “improve the safety and nutrition value of meat, milk, and eggs” wouldn’t they be conducting researcher in that field? Ms. Sams please contact the department to find out more information.

That’s right, the CAS took major budget cuts, combine departments, resources and cut back on programs. I am not sure which researchers are in the Food Science department right now, but I bet they are working for every penny they get from the university and outside sources to continue any type of research.

Question 3: I am pretty sure that the Animal Science degree plan is intended to “promote the humane husbandry of food animals”. So unless she is saying she needs to be instructing classes on this, I think it’s covered.

Question 4: Again, “reduce environmental pollution and conserve natural resources” they are working on this! Please research the appropriate contact on the colleges’ website.

Question 5: Yet again, this statement goes back to research. Also, a niche market that needs help developing products, marketing publics and other resources better be forking up some money for the college to yet again help them by doing research “broaden economic opportunities for family farmers, including the development and preservation of niche markets”!

OSU College of Agricultural Sciences is a major land-grant university, therefore they are responsible for conducting research and engaging students to think about the future. That is their job, not to solve every problem known to man.

There is a big difference in how manure is handled and how FEED, a livestock FEED is handled. Silage must be kept airtight to not grow mold, that’s the reason it’s kept in the white plastic tubes. Manure is typically spread over the fields to replace nitrogen.

I don’t understand what she is trying to get at in the second paragraph; modern dairy production takes place in a barn.

I will that the Swine facilities agree this facility needs to be renovated! Either way, the pigs are happy and cared for. Yet again pigs are kept in barns in modern facilities, plus this pigs have way more space to move around in than modern pig facilities so big happy for the gilts, sows, barrows and boars! Also, if I were a pig in Western Oregon and you kept me outside, I would fear for my life in an endless mud pit, send me to the climate controlled facility any day.

Who in the world is this woman quoting?

OSU is home to a broiler facility and feed facility.

I say this woman needs a firm education in modern agriculture production. If she is interested in niche markets that will not feed the world I encourage her to found her own small research facility that will further the advancement of personal food production. I am glad she wrote this as it serves as a reminder to us all that we must continue to educate those around us on the difference in feeding the world and feeding our selves out of our backyards.

Public Relations Professionals-Do Your Research

I should be working on my take home mid-term for my Public Relations Theories and Cases classes right now, but I had to take a minute to blog about this reading I just did.

In the last four weeks of the semester, I have gained a new appreciation for those working in public relations, it takes more work and more research than I thought. My professor has made me a believer in scholarly research and that sometimes corners get cut in the industry, but there is no excuse not to be doing CORRECT and UNBIASED research.

A required reading for classes was Broom’s Cutlip & Center‟s Effective Public Relations during the second week. after I read the chapter I was livid. Those of you who know me, know that I love to talk, I love to talk even more if I know something about the subject matter. The subject of bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE is something that was lectured to me over and over again when I was in junior high. I learned early on that the United States stopped feeding animal by-products to animals, such as meat, bone and blood meal as soon as it was linked to disease in animals. Therefore we had limited outbreaks of the disease in cattle and humans in the US.

Here is a great website that sets the current facts straight: BSE Info

Back to my take home test, chapter 7 of the book Cutlip & Center‟s Effective Public Relations by Broom (a leading researcher in PR), discusses BSE and the episode that the Texas Cattle Feeders had with Oprah. He states that beef industry is closed system, which it may be, but I feel like the industry has learned some valuable lessons lessons in the last few years and is becoming more “proactive” not “reactive” as they would say in PR terms.

Let me know what you think these two paragraphs are saying about the beef industry.

Broom

Science really? Who did their research or is this a biased presentation of scholarly information?

Here is the APA citation for the book that these two paragraph came from.

Broom, G. M. (2009). Cutlip & Center‟s effective public relations. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. [Chapter 7: “Theoretical underpinnings: Adjustment and adaptation”].

 

Side note: as I was working on research for my thesis last weekend I had the thought why cant this be as much fun Samantha has on Sex and the city? Be prepared for more exciting facts about public relations and blogs in the future.
 
 
 

UPDATE: I emailed my PR professor to explain Broom’s bias presentation of this crisis, I didn’t get any brownie points, but he now likes me and I did some educating for agriculture. This is following my epic fail of taking a quality picture of a HSUS members bag on campus. I made a fool of myself, whats new! I hope you all had a wonderful Thursday, I am back to finishing my test.

Sustainable agriculture-Define It!

Between the discussions of “green” everything the matching debate is about sustainability. While working on some background research for my thesis I stumbled upon an article about how the United States soybean producers are working to ensure that the public understands this organizations mission to be sustainable.

“Many people define and measure sustainability differently, and the discussion about what it really means can generate more heat than light,” said David Wilson, USB Sustainability Initiative Chair and soybean farmer from Lincoln, Ala. “Agriculture has been working well for 10,000 years, so it has always been sustainable historically. But soybean producers are doing some innovative work recently to improve on that success and make sure soybean production continually decreases environmental impact and remains sustainable going forward.”

Here is the new website link: USB Thinking Ahead

My question about this popular trend of sustainability:

So are we in danger of loosing agriculture? Or are we just in danger of not having the ability to feed the growing world population? What are the dangers of new technology is everyday life as compared to food technologies? Why are so many people against genetically modified food, don’t we all want to end world hunger? What other forms of sustainable agriculture will continue the lifestyle that we all know so well? Is agriculture really the root of all evil, meaning the continuing debate about global warming?

I am not really sure what to make out of this craze-trend of sustainability, I also didn’t gain much insight for the USDA either. The USDA definiton is below.

What are you opinions on sustainability and how would you define it?

Here is what the USDA has to say about sustainability:

Sustainable Agriculture: The Basics

Some terms defy definition. “Sustainable agriculture” has become one of them. In such a quickly changing world, can anything be sustainable? What do we want to sustain? How can we implement such a nebulous goal? Is it too late? With the contradictions and questions have come a hard look at our present food production system and thoughtful evaluations of its future. If nothing else, the term “sustainable agriculture” has provided “talking points,” a sense of direction, and an urgency, that has sparked much excitement and innovative thinking in the agricultural world.

The word “sustain,” from the Latin sustinere (sus-, from below and tenere, to hold), to keep in existence or maintain, implies long-term support or permanence. As it pertains to agriculture, sustainable describes farming systems that are “capable of maintaining their productivity and usefulness to society indefinitely. Such systems… must be resource-conserving, socially supportive, commercially competitive, and environmentally sound.” [John Ikerd, as quoted by Richard Duesterhaus in “Sustainability’s Promise,” Journal of Soil and Water Conservation (Jan.-Feb. 1990) 45(1): p.4. NAL Call # 56.8 J822]

“Sustainable agriculture” was addressed by Congress in the 1990 “Farm Bill” [Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (FACTA), Public Law 101-624, Title XVI, Subtitle A, Section 1603 (Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1990) NAL Call # KF1692.A31 1990]. Under that law, “the term sustainable agriculture means an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long term:

  • satisfy human food and fiber needs;
  • enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends;
  • make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls;
  • sustain the economic viability of farm operations; and
  • enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.”

[Subchapter I: Findings, Purposes, and Definitions, U.S. Code, Title 7, Chapter 64-Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching, Available at GPO Access:http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/
getdoc.cgi?dbname=browse_usc&docid=Cite:+7USC3103
 (8/23/07)]