“I have a background in horticulture that began in 4-H. Now, I study Agronomy at the University of Maryland in College Park. At college, I’m active in Collegiate Farm Bureau and Sigma Alpha – Professional Agriculture Sorority.”
By: Grace Brinsfield
In the past 50 years animal agriculture is seeing increased feed conversion rates, decreased time to maturity, and higher safety for the consumer. “How is so much progress possible?” you may ask. We know happy animals are healthier and far more productive than their neglected counterparts. Therefore, quality assurance and regulations have increased profoundly in such a short period. In practical terms biosecurity measures, housing, and nourishment are all among regulated practices. In fact, farms are audited ensuring they meet these health standards. United Egg Producers, National Chicken Council, Beef Quality Assurance and the Sheep Care Guide are a few of the programs in place making sure that animal products as well as animal living conditions are up to standard. Animal welfare is beneficial to everyone: the producer and the consumer.
If farmers care so much about the safety of their animals why do activists constantly speak out against them? The problem does not stand in the fact that anyone is against treating animals well but, instead in exactly how welfare is defined and carried out. Propaganda spread by those who wish to see an end to animal agriculture would have you question the motives of farmers and ranchers. However, if farmers cut corners and ignore standards they sabotage their operation and income. Negative messages from the media make it paramount that Farm Bureau and farmers everywhere are transparent with the public and willing to take the time to educate them. Recently, Farm Bureau has been promoting legislation for agriculture education programs in every Maryland County. Although this bill did not pass Farm Bureau is gradually taking away the mystery that surrounds how farming works to ease the minds of consumers.