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Pat on the Back

Recently I realized a couple weeks ago Americans celebrated Earth Day, and I tried to remember what I was doing that day that I didn’t get a chance to help celebrate. Like a lot of you, the day didn’t have much of an affect on me. I just went about my business, but I like to think that I, and others in agriculture, celebrate every day. But, to some citizens it’s a big deal. 
As always, we later hear how some bashed agriculture and their practices as they filled up on cheap food, food they’re assured, and need to realize, is the safest food anyone could buy in the world. Even if they choose to be vegan or vegetarian, they have to have confidence in their low cost safe vegetables. 
Earth Day really just gives groups like the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) another opportunity and soapbox to bash agriculture. Reading through an Internet newsletter from CattleNetwork.com, I came across a good line: “PETA has all sorts of silly protests, but one that draws a good deal of attention is when they hire scantily-clad models to shower in a portable outdoor unit. With this as a backdrop, PETA claims that one pound of beef requires the same amount of water as six months’ worth of showers. That would be true if you only showered every 10 days or so.” (I’ve always assumed vegetarians didn’t take showers because they are so skinny they must need to jump around in the shower to get wet.)
The troubling part is that our national government promotes the garbage these wacko groups are saying, and that is why it’s so important for agriculture to stand up and tell the true story.
One example is the current legislation, “America’s Commitment to Clean Water Act.” It’s before Congress to expand the federal government’s control of U.S. waters by providing it with jurisdictional authority over all waters across the entire U.S. Currently the government only has jurisdiction over “navigable” waters. There is a big difference between a pothole of water in the spring and the Platte River. We all wonder how this legislation will affect state rights and our Wyoming water laws. All this can change by only removing the single word “navigable” from the Clean Water Act.  
Recycling is a great way for the public to do its part, and it also teaches and reminds everyone we need to take care of our planet. Farmers, ranchers, loggers and others do it every day with the soil, timber, rangeland and crops.   
Cattlemen have increased beef production 80 percent in the last 50 years while reducing cattle numbers by 30 percent, and farmers have increased corn yields 311 percent over the past 50 years. These age-old producers have proven working with science and modern technology is the real way to “save the planet.”
The groups that use scare tactics, voodoo science and misguided legislation to add dollars to their padded bank accounts and administrative wages need to stand back and realize just who the environmentists are in this country. They won’t, so give yourself a pat on the back.
Dennis