From the Ground Up - Is Agriculture Entering a Golden Age?

Earlier this month at Producers Cooperative’s annual membership meeting the crowd was treated to a speaker who was very proud of agriculture’s past, and extremely bullish on its future.

“Folks, we’ve doubled longevity in this last century, and when we ask Americans what caused this the answer always is advances in medical technology. They don’t claim it. The epidemiological studies are quite clear. The medical profession can claim between zero and three per cent of the doubling of the longevity. You know what doubled longevity? We learned how to clean and process and make food safer, and we cleaned up open sewers. You can thank two professions for that, agriculture and engineering.”

Dr. Lowell Catlett is the Dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University.

“My father’s generation told the Texas A&Ms and the New Mexico States and our land grant colleges and universities, and the Prairie View A&Ms and said you need to learn to grow two blades of grass where one grew before, and we did.”

Catlett believes agriculture is entering a golden age.

“We’re going to feed two billion more people, feed them well, because right now folks, for the first time ever, we can feed the seven billion people on this planet, and give them the 2450 calories that they need to maintain normal body weight and health. We can do that. We’ve done it.”

Dr. Catlett also believes there’s no ceiling on what agriculture can accomplish.

“Why can’t we farm carbon? Why can’t we produce energy? Why can’t we be ecological stewards? We already are, have been, now we’ll get paid for it.”

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