Definition: Organic

Organic
Relating to, yielding, dealing in, or involving the use of food produced with the use of feed or fertilizer of plant or animal origin without employment of chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides.
Organic is a word on a lot of minds right now when buying food. Do you eat organic or know how to tell if your food is 100%?

Follow the conversations on Twitter.
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Agvocating vs. Ag Reporting

We have defined agvocate, but not agricultural reporting. Can you recognize the difference between the two words?

Agvocate 

Facebook and Twitter are filled with hundreds of these passionate agriculturalists who live each day to share their opinions about agriculture. They express their concerns or gratitude for ag political movements.

Ag Reporting

Sharing both sides of the story, without unbiased opinion. Covering a story or telling a story      without opinion included is very important in order to reach a non-agriculture audience and stay true to journalistic qualities.

A good balance between the two can be hard to achieve growing up in a small agricultural community or on a farm. So, naturally I struggle with it sometimes.

There are some media outlets who I feel really do a great job of discussing agriculture. Some great examples of balanced journalism are shown through Farm Journal Media and Harvest Public Media.

Twitter says it’s planting time

I’m not talking about the garden I had in my last post. This kind of garden is bigger. And it’s being talked about by farmers country-wide on Twitter.

Coming from an agriculture background it’s fun to watch the agriculture world and social media collide during this nation-wide event. To follow the Twitter action, check out the #plant12 hashtag as pictured above.

Gardening

Due to the warm weather, defining garden seems necessary. Webster has three ways to define the word. 

Garden plot of ground where herbs, fruits, flowers, or vegetables are cultivated: A rich well-cultivated region, and a container planted with usually a variety of small plants.

I was in North Missouri this week and I played around the farm. The farm is doing so well for an early spring. In fact, it’s been so nice that my mother took time Saturday to work in her garden. This is no ordinary, small garden. When my mother gardens, she goes to town.

Here is what she starts with every year. Do you see all of the weeds growing?

After she plants what she wants in the garden, she waits for it to grow. By mid-summer the garden is filled with wildflowers and some produce. There is some thyme, lavender and mint herbs, too.

Having a garden like this takes a lot of work. While I was growing up, my mother strived worked in her garden (my sibling and I too) all summer pulling weeds, watering flowers and cleaning out the garden pond.

Despite all of the work, this garden is my mother’s love and passion. She laid the brick patio from bricks she found in an old farm house up the road. We gathered at least 100 stones from the side of the road for the pathway you see, and she re-painted an old farm outhouse for her potting shed.

To be honest, I was never a fan of working in the garden, but as I get older I really appreciate all of the hard work that goes into having that area to grow food and flowers.

Have you noticed how gardens are becoming more popular these days? Folks garden for many reasons. Some do it to learn how their food is grown and some people garden just because it’s relaxing. People like to talk about their gardens, too. One Montana farm gal shares her experiences gardening in a blog.

There are also many different kinds of gardens. There are big gardens and little gardens (I even consider crop farming a form of large scale gardening). Gardens for food or just wildflowers. Gardens that use natural fertilizer or store-bought. Round-up or non. The possibilities are endless.

Do you garden? If so, what do you grow? Agri-Word would like you to share pictures of your garden or field during planting time and a little story.

Ag Undefined = A Million Definitions

Defining words is extremely valuable. Especially in agriculture.

In this industry words are complex, cultivating, powerful, exciting, frustrating and sometimes even life-changing. If someone doesn’t understand a word or phrase, how can it be used properly?

That’s partly why I began this Agri-Word blog. To define words people may or may not be able to define themselves. I took a look at my short list, and thought it would be a good thing to talk about the reasoning behind defining words in agriculture.

First, lets get slimy. The last word defined on Agri-Word was pink slime. The word’s existence and definition grew fast-and with a damaging reputation to boot for agriculture.

How ABC News smeared a stellar company with ‘pink slime.’

Gainor considers pink slime an influencing word for beef and modern agriculture. The way people defined the pink-looking substance could have a bad turn-out for beef consumption.

Aside from this word, I think agriculture has learned some lessons in the past five years about discussing processes and basic terms used in the industry. They need to talk to people and let them know what goes on in agriculture. When people don’t know what something is, it makes a food or another product seem scary and it blows up. It’s all about defining words and understanding those definitions.

Agriculture has wronged the public-however, not intentionally-of knowledge of certain food production in the past. Heck, I grew up on a farm and had never heard of the pink filler. But, it’s time to have those conversations with the public, because that’s how someone can gain a stronger understanding of a process or word.

Is there one definition for a pink slime? Not in this case. The word itself seems like it has one million definitions. Well, maybe not one million, but at least a few. That’s where Agri-Word comes in.

If not Agri-Word, someone has to get the story straight. It’s time to start defining words. Will you?

Got Slime?

Pink Slime. 

Pink Slime depicted online and via Facebook.

That’s the next food issue based question that’s on everyone’s mind who eats beef and has read or watched national news within the last week.

Pink slime sounds disgusting doesn’t it? Who would want to buy such a meat at the supermarket? I don’t think anyone would want to buy something that sounds gross-but don’t you know what’s in your food?

When creating this blog, pink slime definitely wasn’t in my book of words to define, but I think it’s definitely worth the time.

Here are a few definitions I have found online:

Pink Slime– Term Wiki: “Beef filler produced from discarded beef scraps and trimmings treated with ammonium hydroxide and then ground into a pinkish form that looks something like hamburger meat.”

  • Other Wiki Definition- “A meat byproduct where otherwise unusable cuts are mixed with ammonium hydroxide in a centrifuge to produce food for humans.”
  • The Big Apple Blog: “Lean beef trimmings” is the official name of a product by Beef Products Inc. of ground-up connective tissue and beef scraps.”

I took a look at some stories today, and here are two I found from the ABC Network. The first addresses the issue-through a reporter’s point of view:

I have been taught it is a reporter’s job is to be the eyes and ears of the public. It is important reporters address concerns and educate the public on issues like politics, culture and yes, even food when the agriculture industry doesn’t want to answer questions.

Here is a follow up with the ABC Network who talks about the Ag industries’ semi lack of response to this issue.

Pink slime has its own hashtag on Twitter and there is a Facebook page called, “Stop Pink Slime.” This is a HUGE issue in terms of agriculture.

 

Sure, there is conversation going on in #Agchat and #PinkSlime that is trying to combat this news, but why didn’t the USDA do some responding last week when the issue arose (aside from the fact that it was National Ag Week)?

What do you think: is it fair agriculture doesn’t have a response for this? Do you think it’s the grocery buyer’s fault for not knowing what is in their food? Should people be concerned about this?

Agvocate: Part 2

Thanks to a recent comment, I have had an opportunity to explore more about the origin of this week’s word: Agvocate.

Created by Ohio farmer, Mike Haley and two colleagues, the word is defined as this:

“…A combination of agriculture and advocacy.  The inherent active nature of the word has led many farmers and others in ag to make it a favorite for many in the #AgChat community and spread it to other channels and personal conversations. Agvocacy is not about targeting any selected group, such as media or elected officials – it’s representative of ag proactively telling our story.”

Mike has a blog post in which he wrote about being an agvocate or an agtivist. He talks about the differences between the two.

“When agvocating, it’s important to be proactive and listen to others concerns. It involves connecting with those outside of agriculture that are curious about today’s farmers and ranchers.”

“Agtivism…has a more narrow goal to educate everyone about agriculture. It may not include interacting with consumers every day, but is geared toward setting the record straight quickly when they see misrepresentations about agriculture.”

If you follow #Agchat or any farmers on Twitter/Facebook can you tell the difference?

Read Mike’s blog to learn more.

 

Definition: Agvocate

This week’s word you can’t find in the Webster’s dictionary. It is a relatively new phrase and is used primarily in agricultural context.

Agvocate

In agriculture, an agvocate (or ag-vocating) is similar to advocating for a cause-except, advocating for agricultural issues and the agriculture industry as a whole. Sometimes Facebooking and Tweeting by farmers and agriculturalists (other than news sources) promoting agriculture is agvocating.

I found the word appropriate to define, because it’s National Ag Week in the U.S.

With a rise in animal activist group controversy, and a U.S. population several generations removed from the farm, farmers and agriculturalists use Facebook and Twitter as an opportunity to reach to folks who aren’t from farming backgrounds. They also use the week to take pride in the agriculture industry through posts, tweets and pictures. Sometimes, this is considered agvocating.

If you follow these farmers this week and in the future, there may be some tweets encouraging you to express your thanks to agriculture, share your favorite recipe or even talk about your favorite food!

Agriculture celebrates it in different ways.

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These images with agriculture facts is created by Agriculture Impressions.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture is celebrating by putting up a banner in front of their office Jefferson City.

An Ag Day report from KPC News in Indiana. Also, if you are in the area, you can check out some celebrations at the Indy Track.

The best way to follow what’s going on for yourself is to follow agriculture groups on Facebook and Twitter. This is one of my favorite weeks of the year and I am excited to see what people have to say.

This is one of a few blog posts I plan to do this week as a part of Agri-Word’s dedication/celebration to the week. One post will follow a young, determined agriculturalist to Washington D.C. for an inside look at what’s going on there for the week.

How do YOU define an agvocate?

The American Farmer…Defined

After I posted last week’s blog entry, I had tremendous response on Facebook.

One Facebook friend passed along a poem defining a farmer in her mind. I also stumbled upon another blog post discussing it. It inspired me to use it as this week’s post.

I’m a Just a Farmer, Plain and Simple 
Bobby Collier 
I’m just a farmer, plain and simple.
Not of royal birth, but rather a worker of the earth.
I know not of riches, but rather of patches on my britches.

I’m just a farmer, plain and simple.
I know of drought and rain, of pleasure and pain.
I know the good, the bad, the happy and the sad.

I’m a man of emotions.
A man who loves this land and the beauty of its sand.
I’m just a farmer, plain and simple.

I know the spring’s fresh flow and autumn’s golden glow.
Of a new born calf’s hesitation and an eagle’s destination.
I’m just a farmer, plain and simple.

I know of tall pines and long waiting lines.
I know the warmth of campfires and the agony of flat tires.
I’m just a famer, plain and simple.

I’m a man who loves his job
And the life that I live.
I’m just a farmer, plain and simple.
And I’m a reaper of harvest.
I’m the shower of seeds and I’m the tender of stock.
I’m just a farmer, plain and simple.

I know of planting corn and bailing hay and animals going astray.
I live in a complex world, but my faith guides me.
I’m just a farmer, plain and simple.

I am a man who works with God. I cannot succeed without his help.
For you see, I’m just a farmer, plain and simple.