Don’t point fin­gers on farm­ing

The Dallas Morning News - - Nation & World -

Re: “What is your food eat­ing? In­dus­trial farms are pol­lut­ing wa­ter, live­stock, say Thomas Locke and Shana Gal­lagher,” Wed­nes­day Viewpoints.

As a farmer in North Texas, I was deeply of­fended by this col­umn. I, for one, do know where that feed comes from, be­cause some of it is from my very own farm. To­gether with my brother, nephew and grand­son, I grow thou­sands of bushels of grain which are fed to live­stock each year.

My op­er­a­tion looks a lot like most of my neigh­bors’, and in fact, like most farms across the U.S., where 97 per­cent of farms are fam­ily-owned.

Locke and Gal­lagher seem to think that only farm­ers who mar­ket their prod­uct di­rectly to con­sumers have the right to use the word sus­tain­able, but I dis­agree. My fam­ily and I pro­duce a higher-qual­ity prod­uct with fewer re­sources than we did 10 years ago. In my book, that is the def­i­ni­tion of sus­tain­able. We also work to main­tain healthy soils, con­trol ero­sion and min­i­mize other en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts. Mod­ern agri­cul­ture is not lead­ing us back to the Dust Bowl days — it is ac­tively pre­vent­ing it by each farmer’s stew­ard­ship of the nat­u­ral re­sources that we rely on.

I think there is room in agri­cul­ture for all pro­duc­ers, so let’s stop point­ing fin­gers and get back to feed­ing peo­ple.

Jack Nor­man, Howe

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