A little over nineteen years ago Producers Cooperative and KBTX began a partnership designed to bridge a gap that had evolved over time between agricultural producers and consumers. With agriculture having a rich Central Texas heritage, it has been an effort to give agriculture a voice to tell its own story, a story that went untold too long while producers were busy producing the food that makes our nation’s food supply the safest and most abundant in the world. Bobby Kurten is a Brazos Valley rancher and Board Chairman of Producers Cooperative.
“This is the thousandth episode that we’ve done and every one of them has been an effort to educate people on production agriculture and everything between the ground and the plate like the name says, From the Ground Up. And there is so much ignorance out there about agriculture once you get away from people in it.”
Kurten says that today’s consumers are several generations removed from agriculture.
“And they see food either on the plate or in a restaurant or in the grocery store. They don’t see a calf walking out here, a cute little baby calf as being a future supplier of meat, and that’s what they’re for. They don’t see that corn field as they’re driving past at seventy-five miles an hour, they don’t see that as going into feed, going into cattle and then producing more meat.”
Kurten says it’s ironic that the abundance of food in our country leads many to take our food supply for granted.
“They start talking about doing away with genetically modified foods and animals. They have to make a, at some point a conscious decision as to who they’re going to have starve to death. We can’t feed the whole world with nothing but organic, natural foods. It’s kind of like Dr. Borlaug said. If you have plenty of food as a nation, as a country, if you have plenty of food you’ve got all kinds of problems. If you don’t have enough food, you only have one problem. And that’s people eating.”
Kurten points out that we’re in an information age that’s full of misinformation. He’s fond of a quote from the humorist Will Rogers.
“One of the things he said is what’s most dangerous isn’t what you don’t know, it what you think you know that ain’t necessarily so. The story continues as long as there is agriculture.”