It's always great talking with people about all the industry issues. We kept circling back to the conversation about how there's a disconnect between consumers and farmers.
There were many stories ... one of my favorites was about a boy who held up a drumstick from a chicken and announced, "Look! My chicken nugget has a handle!"
Arkansas has many poultry farms and not that many dairy farms ... my research told me 75, but I met dairy farmer Susan Anglin there and she told me it's down to 72. Tough year.
The speakers addressed challenges in the U.S. and internationally, reducing animal stress, and current research.
After Colin Scanes, professor at U of Wisconsin was showing slides like this:
I was showing slides like this:
And it worked out so well! The balance of the research and the practical application on a modern farm made for great discussion.
Of course, that's a great part about these meetings too - the people! I talked to industry people from China, Israel, and learned more about other aspects of agriculture, especially poultry. I also waited a long time for a delayed flight with Bruce Feinberg, global animal health and welfare officer at McDonald's, and it was interesting to hear about the challenges from his perspective. I talked to blogger Janeal Yancey of Mom at the Meat Counter, and I loved speaking with the faculty from all the schools. Thank you to director Yvonne Vizzier Thaxton (which is such a great name - all those end-of-the-alphabet letters make it so fun to say) for inviting me!
We all agreed that farming will continue to evolve and that we need education about food animal wellbeing to start at a young age. Farmers? Let's keep on talking. Get ready, get set, and hold on to your chicken handles.
|Thanks again to the University of Arkansas and Dr. Thaxton.|
The students were curious, gracious, and a joy to show around the farm, just like last year!
And of course, oversized calf bottles always are great for photo ops to send back home - no matter where you live.
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