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. Bobby Kurten is a Brazos Valley rancher.
“Anybody in agriculture wants to be and has to be an environmentalist. I joke about it every now and then but you never hear of anybody worrying that cattle or chickens or hogs or things like that are going to go extinct. You’re not going to find them on the endangered list. We’re taking care of them.”
Kurten says it would be foolish for producers not to take care of animals that they have a financial interest in.
“We try to do what we do with them to get the maximum out of them, which means they have to live, and they have to do good. A cow or a calf or a hog or a chicken or anything else that is under stress is not going to do as well as one of them that everything’s great. And animal welfare is constantly on our mind. Everybody in agriculture, animal agriculture, their primary purpose is to take care of those animals. If you don’t take care of them they don’t make any money.”
Kurten insists that ag producers are true environmentalists that live right in the middle of what they do very day.
“We are environmentalists. We have to take care of the soil to grow grass. We have to grow grass to grow a cow. We can’t neglect all of our stuff. Every now and then you’ll hear something about fertilizer, the chemicals washing off of a field or a pasture or something into the waterways. We don’t want it to wash off. We want it to stay right where we put it. That’s where it helps us. You’ll see more fertilizer per acre, more weed spray, more herbicides and pesticides per acre in a town than you do in the country.”