JoAnn Alumbaugh
JoAnn Alumbaugh

Growing Your Career: Why federal policy matters to agriculture

Written by Emma Likens, with the Agriculture Future of America, and new blog contributor for PorkNetwork

As Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.” And the same could also be said about policy making, which looks a whole lot simpler when you’re a thousand miles from Capitol Hill. Policy makers need agriculture, because farmers and related occupations provide food sources both domestically and abroad.

Agriculture needs policy, because legislation such as the Farm Bill provides insurance and subsidy programs. With such an interdependent relationship, it’s important for agriculturalists to pay attention to what’s going on in Washington because new pieces

Read the full blog post here.


Rural Route Writer: Protect your farm and remove the gag

Written by Wyatt Bechtel, PorkNetwork Assistant Editor

Flights are a great way to meet people. They are also excellent opportunities to share the story of agriculture.

During my trip to Agricultural Media Summit in Buffalo, N.Y., I met a young woman and her not quite 2-year-old son. He became quite fussy upon takeoff and was screaming for the first five minutes or so. Eventually, the toddler calmed down but he was still very anxious because this was his first time on a plane, it was also his mom's first trip on a plane.

Read the full blog post here.


Mom at the Meat Counter: We need more "moms on the farm"

Written by: Dr. Janeal Yancey, a meat science program technician in the animal science department at the University of Arkansas and mom blogger

In my last post on PorkNetwork, I told you about a program called, “Moms on the Farm.” To refresh your memory, we take urban moms to actual working farms so they can get a true-to-life picture of production agriculture.

We held one such tour on April 13 and the post-tour survey blew my mind. One mom said she really appreciated going into the chicken house and seeing how chickens are raised. Here in Arkansas, you see trucks hauling chickens all the time. They’re packed together pretty tightly in little crates.

This woman thought chickens lived their entire lives in those little pens she saw on the trucks going up and down the road. It gives a whole new meaning to the term, “truck farming!”

Read the full blog post here.


Penning Pigs: Pork snacks banned!

Written by PorkNetwork Editor JoAnn Alumbaugh

Who would have imagined a “Third Grade Approved Snack List for 2013-14,” could gain national attention and draw outrage from so many people? The snack list was sent to parents by the Sunset Elementary School third-grade teachers, in Brentwood, Tenn., and those parents were quick to respond.

One parent wrote on  I have just received my son's 3rd grade approved snack list from Sunset Elementary. Pretzels-Rold Gold brand only, Popcorn Bachman brand only, Fruit snacks- Betty Crocker brand only, all other brands are prohibited. Sunset Elementary is in violation of the definition of freedom, "the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action." We are in the 21st century and living in the USA, let's stop this nonsense.” 

Other parents quickly expressed their opinions on Facebook and local radio talk shows.

Read the full blog post here.


Animal Ag Advocate: When your cousin goes vegan

Written by Emily Meredith, communications director for the Animal Ag Alliance and recent winner of Vance Publishing's 40 Under 40 Agricultural Awards.

I started noticing it six, or so, months ago: some particularly “veggie heavy” recipes in the annual family exchange, a few Pinterest posts tagging “Meatless Mondays.” It was a slow build, but soon enough my teenage cousin was visiting my family, sitting at my mother’s Sunday table and refusing bacon: “I’m a vegetarian.”

“Excuse me, what?”

It’s true, came the reply—she’s sworn off turkey on Thanksgiving, her beloved ham roll-ups, burgers, hot dogs, and of course, bacon. The only silver lining is that she’s still eating cheese (otherwise I don’t know if our home state of Wisconsin would ever forgive her!).

Read the full blog post here.