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Telling the story of agriculture

By Staff | Apr 10, 2009

Trent Loos.

“We don’t need farmers or ranchers anymore, our food comes from the grocery store.”

SIOUX CENTER – These were words once spoken to Trent Loos, an agricultural activist, by an attorney in California who was dead serious, believing what he said to be true.

Loos travels around the country speaking to farm organizations about the importance of telling their story.

Northwest Iowans had an opportunity to listen to him March 19 at a Western Iowa Dairy Association event in Sioux Center.

Dressed as a cowboy with a vest, neck scarf, cowboy boots and hat, with a black mustache, Loos attracts attention whenever he travels. His dress makes it fairly obvious to those around that he has ties to the agriculture community.

Whether sitting on a plane, or in an elevator where once he was asked, “What is agriculture?” Loos is ready to talk.

At one time he made it a point to follow where Robert F. Kennedy Jr., spoke to set the record straight. Kennedy, an environmentalist who for months after 9/11 told audiences that pig farmers were a greater threat to the U.S. and democracy than Bin Laden’s terrorist network.

Loos sat in the front seat of RFK, Jr’s speaking engagements to record the untrue words, RFK Jr. would spew out. Eventually Loos was noticed, and RFK Jr. began pointing him out at his rallies introducing Loos as his shadow who wears a black hat because he represents the evils of modern day agriculture.

“We farmers do a great job of producing milk, beef and pork,” Loos told his Sioux Center listeners. “But we have to get better at telling the story of agriculture.” He stressed that producers need to know why they use the practices they do.

Loos called global warming a hoax. There are four climate-reporting stations, he said, with three recording that the earth has been cooling since 1998. The fourth station indicated the earth is in peril. This report resulted in 43 million dollars to study global warming in the stimulus bill.

“The United Nations doesn’t want America’s agriculture sector to have an advantage as U.S. farmers employ modern technology claiming that it “would displace workers around the world.” Beginning in 1862 with the land grant universities, research has found farming methods that use our natural resources more efficiently.

For example, in 1945 there were 24 million dairy cows. Today, U.S. dairy operations produce three times the milk with just one-third of the cows.

Research at Cornell University suggests that modern-day dairy producers ought to be applauded for emitting 63 percent less carbon than milk producers of 60 years ago.

“It isn’t the consumer’s fault they don’t know, it is our fault,” concluded Loos. “You and I need to accept responsibility to take care of their lack of knowledge. Truth is on our side.”

Contact Renae Vander Schaaf by e-mail at renaefarmnews@gmail.com.

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