Friday, August 10, 2012

Editor: Exciting times in agriculture will need 'new blood and passion' to build rural communities

With populations moving out of rural areas, with some farmers finding it hard to press on against drought, with a lot of other obstacles we name daily, here comes Susan Crowell, editor of the Eastern Corn Belt's Farm and Dairy, to do a bit of cheerleading under the hot August sun. It's just so refreshing, we include a bit of it here, to wrap up the week.

"There’s farm material in carpets, plywood, concrete sealer, the foam in automobiles, industrial coatings, adhesives, lubricants, and, of course, fuel," Crowell writes. "Last year, PepsiCo unveiled a new bottle that was made entirely of plant material (switchgrass, pine bark and corn husks, among other things). In Missouri, they’re even breaking down hog manure into a tarry product that can either be burned to generate electricity, or used as an asphalt binder. That’s right, the road to agriculture’s future is paved with hog manure. . . Not only do we need these new products and new opportunities, but we need that new blood and passion to continue to build our rural communities."

Crowell then quotes Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack saying recently, "The greatness of this country, the soul of this country, lives in rural America." Crowell was clearly moved by that. "This year may be a difficult year for many farmers, but these are exciting times in agriculture. I wish I was 21 again." (Read more)

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