From the Ground Up - Ag Producers Make Good Stewards

Many in the urban population consider themselves environmental activists while most agricultural producers think of themselves as active environmentalists.

It just makes good sense for those who make their living off of the land to take good care of it.

“Most often we’re talking with an urban audience, and we’re outnumbered in the congress and we’re outnumbered in the Texas Legislature and state legislatures in general. Simply to say that I’m a good steward doesn’t necessarily go over.”

Don Renchie works in the Agricultural and Environmental Safety Program for Texas A&M Agrilife Extension.

“That’s why I tell guys, be sure that when you’re talking with the public explain to them that more than 50% of all the pesticides that are used in the United States are used for water, for us to go out and treat water so you can drink it.”

Renchie also says that the 854 million pounds of pesticides that are used in the U.S. for quote, agricultural purposes, are not only used for agricultural purposes.

“But they also support structural pest control, they support government pest control and homeowners. There is more than 985 million pounds of wood preservatives used as compared to that 854 million pounds that are used for producing the food, for protecting the public’s health, for homeowners to go out and do their own, as well as for government to use pesticides on your behalf.”

Agricultural producers have a vested economic interest to not use any more pesticides than they need.

“When we’re talking to those centers of influence, those decision makers, we want those guys to make sure that they understand, we aren’t the culprit. As a matter of fact, we are the groups of those individuals that are those stewards and we’re out there trying to use the products in a manner to produce food and to protect the public’s health.”

Renchie says that the education of non-agriculturalists, and homeowners specifically, is also necessary.

“And that if we have this thing in lock step, or in sync, then we can also educate those others out there in the public that are using these products in a manner that necessarily agriculture may not be.”

I’m Kailey Carey, looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, From The Ground Up.