Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Telling Their Story, Making a Difference

Cage-free egg farms peck away at consumer reality
by Linda Valdez - Aug. 10, 2008 12:00 AM
Republic columnist

I toured a couple of egg farms and changed my buying habits.

It started with a column I wrote a while back about factory farming. I questioned the morality of treating food animals like cogs in an industrial machine. Some farmers took issue.

Clint Hickman of Hickman's Family Farms took me on a tour of the egg farm his family runs near Buckeye.

I saw some of the 4 million hens Hickman's has in so-called battery cages. Animal-rights advocates find these cages so offensive they are trying to get voters in California to outlaw them.
Stacked one upon another, these cages rose high above me and stretched in long rows. A group of chickens lays eggs in those cages for about two years. Then the birds are euthanized, and new chickens are brought in.

This wasn't Birdie Paradise, but it wasn't Avian Hell, either. Read More

Telling the story of agriculture is the greatest tool that producers have in educating consumers about how their food is raised and why we have implemented technology. Agriculture has changed a lot over the last century, and for good reason. There were more mouths to feed and there were more efficient ways of doing it. In animal agriculture, we will always have to have the best interests of the animals in mind, and that is why we have developed the technologies that we utilize today. Congratulations to Hickmans’s for going out and telling their story!

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