HOUSTON —Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples was joined by many representatives of the agriculture industry at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo to unveil the new educational campaign Agriculture is Your Culture. The initiative is designed to dispel myths about the agriculture industry, while educating consumers about the countless ways in which farmers and ranchers play a vital role in the everyday lives of American families.
"It's no accident that Americans enjoy the safest, most abundant and most affordable food supply in the world," Commissioner Staples said. "Our hardworking farmers and ranchers make it possible to feed our growing population through meticulous care and efficient use of our land and resources. They also contribute to amazing strides in life-saving medicine, research, education and other agriculture-dependent technologies. Criticism aimed at agriculture is based largely on sensationalism, and this campaign sets the record straight with the facts."
Agriculture in the Lone Star State is a $100 billion industry that employs one in seven working Texans. Through the Agriculture is Your Culture website and outreach materials, the true story of Texas agriculture is told in ways that relate to everyday life.
"The public is concerned and they want to know that the food they eat isn't harming them or the environment," said Dave Scott, rancher and president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. "So far the public has received bad information from groups that have no personal involvement in the beef industry. The truth is Texas cattle raisers care about the safety of beef, your health, our animals and the environment. Agriculture is Your Culture allows ranchers like me to tell the true story of the beef industry and combat the many myths circulated by these radical groups."
Through Agriculture is Your Culture, consumers will learn how animal care and environmental conservation translate to safe food and sustainable natural resources. They also will learn how agriculture extends beyond the grocery store to contribute to the clothes in their closets, the aspirin in their medicine cabinets and the construction of their homes, among myriad other things.
"No one has a greater stake in caring for our environment and animals than the people who rely on them for their livelihood - namely our farmers and ranchers," Commissioner Staples said. "Not only are farmers and ranchers in the business of feeding and clothing our population, they also are in the business of providing for their own families and preserving our resources for future generations. The work of farmers and ranchers may not be in the spotlight, but I assure you it would be missed by every family in the nation if it ceased to exist."
With myths about agriculture threatening to steer federal regulatory programs down a path of uncontrolled growth at the expense of domestic food and fiber production, Agriculture Is Your Culture is more important than ever as the unified voice of this vital industry.
Visit Agriculture is Your Culture at TexasAgriculture.gov and at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo through March 20.