A vice president of the University of Nebraska says agriculture must respond.
University of Nebraska Vice President Ronnie Green says concerns are being raised about farming, in part, because so few Americans have direct ties to agriculture.
“The majority of people in Nebraska are today one generation, two generations, maybe more removed from having direct involvement in agriculture themselves or in their family,” Green tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Outside the Midwest, the disparity grows.
Only 2% of the United States population is engaged in farming or livestock production.
Perhaps growing out of that, a social movement has emerged questioning farming and livestock production methods. Books are written questioning modern agricultural methods, from seed genetics to herbicides. Groups, such as the Humane Society of the United States, question the methods used in raising livestock. The questions raised tap into the growing concern, especially among the young, about the environment.
Green says all this angst over agriculture comes as the world population is expected to increase by a third in the next three decades, requiring agricultural production to nearly double.
“Those statistics are pretty daunting when you look at what that says relative to what we’ve done historically,” Green says. “It says we’ll need to produce more food than we produced in the last 8,000 years, annually. So, it’s a big challenge.”
Green suggests agricultural groups as well as individual farmers and ranchers need to do a better job of communicating how they operate to consumers who seem less and less knowledgeable about agriculture.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:55]