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I just learned that another milk plant is going to go rBST free starting January 1. Why? A misinformed consumer!!

When is the agriculture industry going to quit giving in to a misinformed consumer and to develop their own educational marketing program for consumers?

Our American farmers produce the safest, best quality and best quantity of food available anywhere on the planet! Less than 2 percent of our population is responsible for producing that food for the rest of us.

Through technology we have developed ways to increase our food outputs with decreased inputs to decrease the number of people that suffer from malnutrition, under nutrition and die of starvation each day.

Technology has changed the way that each of us live our lives from the phones that we use, the cars that we drive and the food that we eat. Why in the world do people expect the agriculture industry to be any different?

We have an awesome responsibility that we take seriously! How do we continue to feed an ever-growing planet on less and less available land?

The agriculture industry employs our nation's best and brightest to continuously look for ways to feed the world.

We have become a nation of self-absorbed, spoiled individuals who only seem to care about what they see and what will impact themselves. Turn on the nightly news if you truly believe that food insecurity is not a major concern world-wide.

We have the technology to produce more milk with the use of BST. BST has been in every glass of cow's milk that you have ever consumed. The supplemental (rBST) is scientifically the same as the naturally occurring BST. Science cannot differentiate the difference between them!

We have the ability to produce more milk resulting in the ability to feed more people...to save people from dying of starvation. Yet individuals who rely on slick, fear-driven marketing campaigns for their information have determined that it is 'evil' and should not be used!

The same philosophy is applied to the GMO concepts. Science has proven over and over again that GMO products are safe for consumer consumption, yet we see company after company starting to label their foods as GMO-Free. I am simply amazed at the packaging that has been appearing on store shelves. Companies are jumping on the bandwagon and claiming their GMO-Free status. A consumer is lead to believe that GMO-Free must be a good thing.

I don't know how people can sleep at night knowing that we have the ability to literally save millions of lives each year with the technology that we have and we allow a consumer who is misinformed about these issues to drive how and what we produce.

We claim to be a society that cares about others. We have the ability to make a difference daily in feeding people, yet refuse to allow the industry with the option to use it! Science has become that a topic that people choose to use only when and if it fits into their mold of what they believe in.

BST and GMO's are just two of the thousands of management tools available for producers to choose to use or not use. That decision in up to each producer. Why would we take that choice away? Look into the face of a young mother who does not have the food to feed her children and then explain why we should eliminate these management choices from producers. What is going to be the next management tool to be eliminated?

Enough is enough! The facts are simple. Agriculture has the responsibility to feed the world. We have the knowledge and technology to do what it takes to FEED PEOPLE!

Science has deemed this technology safe. We have the best quality, best quantity and safest food supply on the planet.

Those of you who don't understand what we do in agriculture, take the time to learn. Go to a farm, talk to a farmer, don't allow yourselves to get sucked into some slick, fear-drive marketing campaign. Talk to the people that are living this life each day, those that work tirelessly to provide you with the world's safest and best quality food available anywhere on the planet.

To those of us in the agriculture industry, we all need to tell the accurate story of what we do! It is no longer an option to sit back and laugh at the ridiculous comments and messages that are spewed through the media. It is our responsibility to share the message of what we do in the agriculture industry to feed the rest of the planet.

Tari Costello is an agriculture educator and FFA advisor at Waupun Area Jr/Sr High School

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