Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Beauty, Brains and Beef Love

 Here she comes... Miss America.... Right to the campus of my Alma Mater, Kansas State University. 
If there is anyway to get people listening about the importance of farming and ranching put Miss America and her tiara on a podium and let her at it! I was so happy to hear about this cross campus tour she is taking, educating and informing people across the nation about our job.  Here is an article from the Kansas State Collegian newspaper written by Haley Rose. 

Picture from Evert Nelson, KSTATE Collegian
"Tiara-clad and smiling, Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan gave a presentation in McCain Auditorium Tuesday evening to spread the message of the importance of agriculture in America.
The 18-year-old pageant champion addressed the audience of almost 400 on subjects ranging from crop insurance to encouraging young generations to take up farming.

"Not everybody farms, but everybody eats," is a phrase she has recently taken to using as a part of her platform.
"I'm trying to reach an audience that doesn't get this information," Scanlan said. She said she uses her motto as a simple way to get people thinking about agriculture in a new light.

General awareness and understanding about the nation's agriculture system is something Scanlan said is one of the most difficult hurdles to overcome when conveying her message. One of the biggest misconceptions about the agricultural industry is that it is cash-rich and that it isn't a serious issue.

"It affects us more strongly than any other industry," Scanlan said. "That's one of the big problems we're facing — bridging the gap. The generation gap and the gap between rural and metropolitan America."

The generation gap is the difference between the aging demographic of those who currently farm and new generations coming up in a time of limitless technology and a different idea of work ethic.
Picture from Evert Nelson, KSTATE Collegian
"We have to encourage young people to take up farming or continue a family farm," she said. "It is so important."

Another topic Scanlan discussed was the hefty agricultural discussions on a governmental level. Federal budget cuts have impacted the agriculture industry in more ways than just budgetary, she said.

A recent bill passed by the legislature will cut the U.S. Department of Argriculture budget in 2010 by close to $1 billion, but other laws are being put into place that could hamper farming operations.

Another legal issue she touched on was developing strong farm policy as a safety net for farmers, specifically crop insurance.
"Farming is a risky business," she said. "And we can't really go without it.""

I hope and pray that Miss America finds time to hit campuses that aren't so Ag driven to spread the word to the ranching opponents.  I guarantee that almost everyone in that auditorium was an agriculture major or minor, from a farming family, a part of the food for thought group or all of the above. We don't need you to convince us that we're in the beef business for all the right reasons but I guess we all have to start somewhere. 

If only I could get my hands on a tiara.... 

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