Nebraska rancher Trent Loos has been speaking to people for a long time. Farmers, ranchers, soccer moms, consumers, liberals, conservatives are among the thousands who have heard his words. But the message is consistent, agriculture has a story to share, and it takes everyone to make a stand and make their voices heard.
“The sad irony of where we’re at today is that you have never done a better job at taking care of the land and feeding the people and yet too many people globally believe it’s at the worst time it has ever been.”
Loos served as keynote speaker Wednesday, Dec. 10, at the Prairie Grains Conference at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D. Intertwining humor with facts, Loos led the audience through a message of agriculture, one centered around the innovations of such things as precision agriculture, biotechnology to go along with the myths non-farmers have about today’s agriculture.
“How do we educate someone who doesn’t understand the first thing about the cycle of life,” Loos asked the crowd? “What I contend is the biggest challenge that we face today in food production is this basic premise — the number of people selling coffee, the number of people teaching school, the number of people who are regulating your farm business, the number of people enacting laws and even the occupants of the White House who do not understand this basic premise — everything lives, everything dies, and death with a purpose gives full meaning to life.”
Loos, a motiviational speaker who, along with others, helped start the All American Beef Batalion, called out Bob Langert vice-president of sustainability for McDonald’s, for saying that by 2016 we’re going to be serving sustainable beef.
“Excuse me sir, I contend that since the first hamburger sold by Ray Kroc in 1949, every pound has been sustainable beef.”
Loos said that McDonald’s ambitious plan doesn’t factor into account that many farmers are third, fourth, fifth, six generation farmers, and that farming is already a sustainable practice.
“Sustainability is driven by those of you in the room, not by McDonald’s, not by Wal-Mart,” Loos said. “And if we continue to let this happen, here is exactly what will happen: You will be asked to produce a rib eye so that the steer doesn’t die. You’re going go out there and you’re going to produce the most amazing barley plant ever without any tillage or planting or any chemical application because chemicals are absolutely the worst thing we ever created.”
Loos also took exception to the notion that researchers are studying plants to determine whether or not plants have feelings.
“We’re spending taxpayer money to research and study whether plants have cognitive ability,” he exclaimed. “Do you think this is something the kids really need to hear about? Absolutely not. It is a function of a society that has accomplished so much that we need to find something to worry about.”