My name is Jake Stonebarger and I know that there are probably that do not know me. I showed OE for about 9 years prior to college (2010) and recently got back into birds. I got my BA in Poultry Science from the University of Arkansas as well as a minor in Agricultural Business.
Now I am by no means an expert on anything and only being 23 I have a lot still left to learn, but I do want to share some of my thoughts with you guys.
As men and women who have an interest in a hobby that does pertain to agriculture I feel that it is important that we all know just a little factual and truthful knowledge about the agricultural industry. Todays media portrays modern day agricultural practices as bad and inhumane. Now let me say that there are tons of videos on the web showing animal cruelty and those few individuals that go in and get this footage are picking out those few bad apples in the industry and showing the worst case situations. There is such thing as animal cruelty, there are people that are guilty of it and should be made and example of. There are organizations out there that use these videos to show the world what agriculture is and they say it is the normal thing and that everyone does it.
There are two things we need to look at, animal welfare and animal rights. Animal rights is what PETA, HSUS, and the other organization like them push into the faces of consumers and blast all over the media. When the saying animal rights is used, it is being said that those animals should have rights, like humans. They should have the right to choose if they want to be in a cage, or be processed into food. They have feeling like humans and a conscience. Animal welfare is what every successful and good producer (farmer) practices everyday. It is the thought that if you take the best possible care of your animals they will produce well for you, whether its a hen laying eggs, a steer in the feed yard, or cow producing milk, producers know that you get out what you put in. And the producers that produce the best take the best care of their animals. Its common knowledge that the better you take care of something the better it is in return. So the line is drawn between animal rights and animal welfare.
2%..... That is the percentage of the US population involved in modern day agriculture. So that means 98% of this country has no clue what goes into that beef they buy in the store or the sausage and egg biscuit they eat at McDonalds. This statistic alone is reason enough to talk about agriculture with every person you encounter. Consumers need to know the truth about what really goes on in modern day farming and that its not all bad like the media and certain organizations have made it out to be.
Everything we do revolves around agriculture. But people have no idea. They think the milk and bread is so expensive and that its ridiculous you got pay for it. FACT: Farmers only receive about $0.16 of every food dollar. They are under the impression that "Organic" is more healthy and that GMO means "poison" or "BAD". Factory farming means something bad. Chickens are fed hormones to make them grow faster.
REALITY......They have no idea.
This is something I am truly passionate about and if anyone has ANY questions I would be more than happy to do my best to answer them or point you in the right direction.