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April 8, 2014

Technology - Farming Deserves More Respect Part 3

"Our critics are convinced that technology applied to personal communications devices and medicine is a net good, but science applied to growing things is freakish, unnatural and dangerous."

Farming Deserves More Respect By Blake Hurst


Hurst, a Missouri Farmer wrote "Farming Deserves More Respect" as an opinion piece that appeared on The Kansas City Star website and quickly made it rounds within social media.  I have read his article so many times I almost have it memorized and every time I read it - consumers, technology and nostalgia lead out at me - these three play a massive role in the agriculture industry.

Consumers are a given, we produce food and fiber, they eat and like to be clothed.  But I don't think many farmers thought that part of their job would be communicating with consumers when they don't directly sell end products.

But technology has always been at the forefront of agriculture, it is required to keep the industry, any industry, moving forward.  However it is viewed so differently in this industry by those looking in.

Technology is constantly critiqued yet demanded by people.  Just like Hurst states, it is accepted in all areas except one of the most vital for survival-feeding the human race.

Technology in agriculture is ever chaninging, sometimes it moves faster than imaginable.  But farming is one of the most conservative industries out there.

The use of technology is essential to agriculture today.  The American Farmer produces 362% more food with 2% fewer inputs compared with 1950 according to The American Farm Bureau, that is thanks to technology.  As the population of the world continues to increase technology to help feed them will be required.

"We adopt change very, very slowly, and don't invest in new technologies without plenty of proof that they make sense." writes Hurst.  "Our commitment to the place where we live is strengthened by the presumed tenure of our residence."

The acceptance of technology for every farm is different, this is what makes our industry work.  There are those willing to be on the cutting or bleeding edge, adapt easily and willing to try things as they become available.  And those a little slower, it works.

"Know this about me, and most farmers: We're in this for the along haul.  If I'm using a new method or a new technology, I'm convinced that it's not only the right thing for me, but for my grandkids."



Decisions made on farms are not made lightly, we rely on the land year to year for our income - it is in our best interests to care for it continually.



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