Why Livestock Matters - Kentucky Department of Agriculture

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Animal Agriculture
Partnering for Strength in Rural
America
“The Good Old Days”
’57 Chevy – a classic
Driven one lately?
“The Good Old Days”
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No power steering
No a/c
No seat belt
No air bags
Bad gas mileage
No emissions
controls
Then and now
1950
• U.S. pop. 154 million
• 5.6 million farms
• 1 farmer fed 30 people
2010
• U.S. pop. 308 million
• 2 million farms
• 1 farmer feeds 155
people
Today’s Farms
• GPS Systems
• New Production
Systems
• Safety from farm
gate to dinner
plate
Today’s Farms
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New technology
Safer food system
Increased productivity
Environmentally-friendly
Agriculture has Changed
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Bigger farms
Profitability
Increased demand
New technologies
Ethical commitment unchanged
Agriculture has Changed
Agriculture has Changed
More with less
• Compared to 1950, farmers today
produce:
– 176% more pork per sow with 44% fewer
sows
– 81% more chicken per bird
– 333% more corn on 11% fewer acres
– 53% more eggs with 3% fewer hens
– 11 times more soybeans on 5 times fewer
acres
– 69% more wheat on 6% fewer acres
– 63% more milk with 58% fewer cows
Protecting the Environment
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Farmers are the original recyclers
Manure as fertilizer nothing new
Sustainable Cycle
Strict regulatory oversight
Evolving technologies
Good management = minimal odor
Pens with Roofs
Safety starts in the barn
Safe Animals = Safe Food
• When most animals were raised outdoors, bad
weather, disease and predators took their toll
• Animals indoors are healthier and less
stressed
“Food safety and
animal comfort are a
point of pride for my
family’s farm .
I wish people
could appreciate the
positive difference
today from the way
hogs were raised 20
years ago.”
– Verified by saliva testing for stress reactions
Environmental Quality, Sustainability
• Controlled environment protects air and water
• Today’s manure systems mean less fertilizers
Maurice Heard
hog farmer
Rockfield, KY
Manure management technologies, fertilizer generation
“Factory Farm” myths
Raising farm animals in confinement
is cruel:
• Most food animals are housed in barns to
protect their health and welfare.
• Housing protects animals from predators,
disease and weather extremes.
• Housing makes breeding and birth less
stressful, protects young animals and makes it
easier for farmers to care for both healthy and
sick animals.
“Factory Farm” myths
Raising farm animals in confinement is
cruel:
• Modern food animal housing is well ventilated,
temperature-controlled, well-lighted, clean and
scientifically designed for the specific needs of the
animal, such as the regular availability of fresh
water and a nutritionally balanced diet.
• A hog barn wouldn't be used for cows, any more
than an adult would sleep in a child's crib. Housing
is designed to allow the farmer to provide the best
animal care.
“Factory Farm” myths
Raising farm animals in confinement
is unhealthy:
• Animal scientists, veterinarians and on-farm
experience show animals kept in housing
are no more likely to get sick than in other
production systems.
• Many would argue they are healthier
because they are protected.
“Factory Farm” myths
Raising farm animals in confinement is
unhealthy:
• To prevent illness and ensure that animals remain
healthy, farmers take preventive measures -including the use of animal health products.
• These products are given to the animal in a
scientifically formulated feed best suited to the
animal's needs.
• All animal health products are approved and
regulated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration
(FDA) prior to being given to animals.
“Factory Farm” myths
Farming is controlled by uncaring
corporations:
• 87% of the 2.2 million farms in the U.S. are owned by
individuals or a married couples responsible for operating
the farm.
• If partnerships – typically a parent and one or more children
or other close relatives – are added to this total, 97 percent
of U.S. farms are family-owned and operated.
• Even those farms that are legally corporations are generally
family controlled. There are only 7,000 non-familycontrolled corporate farms in the U.S.
Kentucky farmers want you to know
• We’re family farms, not factories.
• The land is our legacy.
• Animal care and food safety are our
livelihood.
Aaron & Celeste Harned
Curt & Carrie Divine
Ron & Heather Davis
Paducah, KY
Morganfield, KY
Brewers, KY
Kentucky agriculture
85 thousand farms - 13 million acres
National Rankings of
Ky. Commodities
CROPS
RANK
Corn
14
Soybeans
16
Tobacco
1
LIVESTOCK
RANK
Poultry
7
Beef cows
8
Hogs
19
Dairy cows
26
CASH RECEIPTS RANK
CROPS
28
LIVESTOCK
16
TOTAL
23
USDA NASS 2007 Census of Agriculture
$3.9 billion annual impact
32 thousand Kentucky jobs
(and we’re not talking horses)
June 2010 - Promar International
Animal Agriculture Economic Analysis: Kentucky, 1999-2009
Animal Agriculture Matters
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Affordable food
One farmer feeds 144 people
Vast majority of farms are family-owned
$2.4 billion in property taxes nationwide
$16 billion in income & sales taxes
2.5 million jobs
Today’s Farms
Doing the “right thing”
“Proving it”
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