In Our Opinion...
Opening the doors!
I have to admit that as the holiday season approached, there was something I was more excited about than Christmas: an ag display.
Not just any ag display, but one that will likely be viewed by a good percentage of the people who attend the 2012 Pennsylvania Farm Show. The audience for the Farm Show is mostly urban and suburban people - the same people who are asking questions about how food animals are raised.
'Today's Agriculture' is a 10,000 square foot exhibit coordinated by PennAg Industries Association on behalf of the Pennsylvania Alliance for Livestock Care and Well-Being and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
The display, subtitled 'Opening the Doors: Farming - Knowledge - Trust - was introduced to the media this week, and my expectation that the exhibit would accomplish its mission was confirmed when I overheard this conversation:
Young reporter, looking at a sow and her piglets as she asks the first question in an interview: "What's her name?"
Veterinarian: (silence) ... then, "She has an eartag number."
Go vote, but don't screw it up
By Andy Vance
It is officially an election year, and with the passing of the "Hawkeye Cauci," a.k.a., the Iowa caucuses, presidential politics are likely to dominate the political news for the remainder of the year.
The occasion of Iowans casting their ballot for a Republican presidential candidate reminded me of two very important and seemingly contradictory truths.
One, the average person really hates politics (if not politicians as a social class); two, the average person really needs to pay a lot more attention to politics to be an informed, intelligent voter.
What specifically occasioned this intuition was a discussion on Facebook about GOP hopeful Rick Santorum, the former congressman and senator from Pennsylvania. After trailing a good number of the other Republican hopefuls in the major polls of 2011, Santorum somehow caught a tailwind in the weeks leading up to the Iowa sweepstakes and finished just eight votes behind winner Mitt Romney.
What really fuels debate over raw milk?
By Mark Klaus
Consuming raw, unpasteurized milk is nothing new: My grandfathers' generation and even the following generation consumed raw milk, as did many people at that time. To my knowledge, they all led long lives.
Suffice it to say, raw milk is not a new idea. It is not cutting edge or part of any new research and development. In fact, the sale of raw milk has continued since the days of my grandfathers.
As of late, however, there has been much debate over the sale and consumption of raw milk. The media has latched on -- perhaps, at times, at the request of raw milk producers -- to better "enlighten" their audience about the "attacks" on such producers.
The general debate on the subject centers on the use of "facts" surrounding either the dangers or possible health effects of consuming raw milk. Many seem to think that's how the raw milk argument must play out.