• Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: Confusion Clarification Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 24, 2015

    So Roundup 'probably' causes cancer. This means what, exactly? This may be the best thing you read this week, both because it's from Grist and because it encourages perspective and mitigated risk: "Just about everything in life has risks; the trick is to weigh those risks thoughtfully against benefits." And I really like that someone outside of agriculture has made note of agriculture's use of chemicals to reduce tillage and prevent erosion and soil loss. We can't…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: Squirming Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 17, 2015

    Real-world math: a bit of trig and hay for the horses: Learning by doing…it's a combination of common core math and ag classes. Reporting on quacks and pseudoscience: This is a great discussion in the L.A. Times about what happens when the press covers pseudoscience purveyors like, say, Dr. Oz and Vani Hari (the Food Babe): "The woods are full of charlatans just waiting for a chance to loose their fear-mongering theories upon a willing public, and the press shouldn't…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: Dream chasers edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on April 10, 2015

    Are paleo diets more natural than GMOs? This piece from Scientific American raises some good (scientific) points, such as: "GMOs are scientifically sound, nutritionally valuable and morally noble in helping humanity during a period of rising population. Until then, eat, drink and be merry." The Food Babe is full of s*#&: I started following the Science Babe on Facebook some time back, and she's managed to get a piece on the Food Babe published in Gawker. It's got some…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: Rare Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 27, 2015

    National GMO labeling standards bill resurfaces: Pompeo and Butterfield have introduced another GMO labeling bill this week (similar to one they introduced last spring) but that would create a single federal labeling standard for foods containing GMOs, through a USDA-accredited non-GMO certification process. The non-GMO label would be similar to the Certified Organic label, in that farms or companies could seek the designation and label food as such; consumers who want to avoid GMOs could seek…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Farmland for less than $10?

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 26, 2015

    Remember the Farmland film, produced by USFRA? I've had the chance to see it twice now; first at the 2014 Commodity Classic and again this spring at a local college showing. I really liked it, even though I've mentioned it's not really for farmers. But I'd still like for my farmer to see it, and he hasn't yet. But now he can. Farmland is now available on DVD at Walmart and Amazon and on Amazon Instant Video. Could be the last movie you watch before planting season starts…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Do women earn less as farmers?

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 24, 2015

    CBS News reported this week in their MoneyWatch section that farming is among the 11 jobs where women face the biggest pay gap. Give it a read but among the story's highlights: Women who are farmers and ranchers face the biggest pay gap out of all the professions measured by the U.S. Census Bureau, at 60.7 cents for every $1 their male counterparts earn. The U.N. says women farmers are likely to have smaller farms; women represent 1 out of 10 farmers and ranchers; and women farmers earn…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: Antibiotics Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 13, 2015

    Proof he's the Science Guy: Bill Nye the Science Guy has reversed his stand on GMOs, and is updating a chapter in his latest book, Undeniable. FDA tests turn up dairy farmers breaking the law on antibiotics: The veterinarian at the end of the story is right in that this is a small minority, proving the rules are actually working. But that's a tough case to make to the average non-farming consumer. Dear County Market: Judging by my friend, Emily's, latest blog, it appears County…

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  • Holly Spangler

    The Friday Five: Food and Dogs Edition

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 6, 2015

    Girl Scout Cookies Baked with Science Literacy: Woohoo! The Girl Scouts are back on board with science! Eat your cookies without non-GMO guilt, knowing the Girl Scouts not only didn't cave to non-GMO pressure but even came out with a statement in support of GMOs: “It is important to note that there is worldwide scientific support for the safety of currently commercialized ingredients derived from genetically modified crops…. "In addition, in the future, GMOs may offer a…

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  • Holly Spangler

    On poultry farmers and poultry killers

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on March 5, 2015

    Over the past two weeks, 300,000 chickens have been killed on 16 South Carolina farms, stretching across several counties. On at least one farm, which belongs to W.L. Coker, 200,000 birds were roasted to death. Someone broke into the facilities, disabled the temperature alarms, shut off ventilation and allowed temperatures to reach 115 degrees. Mature birds need temperatures in the chicken house to be 65 to 70 degrees. Chicks live at 95 to 100 degrees. The details are simultaneously gory and…

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  • Holly Spangler

    Mark Your March Calendar

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on February 26, 2015

    Farm meeting season is notoriously busy but I am here to tell you: March is set to out-do itself this year. It's all good though. Good people, good information, good experiences. Take a look: Women Changing the Face of Agriculture | March 6: it's a long name but a great purpose, in connecting high school and college women with careers in agriculture. If you are that young woman or are the parent of that young woman, it's worth a look and a trip to Bloomington. And for the rest of…

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