This is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, an event that means a lot to Alabama Cattlemen’s Association President Mike Dee, who says it’s important for them to take care of the land for future generations.
These days, everyone from celebrities to journalists to politicians has an opinion about the “right” way to raise food. Often, their criticism of farmers like me relates to the environment – people say we aren’t doing our part to protect the planet.
With the 40th anniversary of Earth Day coming up, I’d like to offer some food for thought. While these naysayers talk about minimizing impact on the environment, America’s cattle farmers and ranchers get up every day and do it. We care for the land because it’s our job. This is simply how my family and others like mine operate; did you know more than 97% of the cattle farms in this country are family run businesses just like mine?
We’re constantly creating new, innovative practices that help us do more with less. If you’re interested, you can even search for my family’s ranch on YouTube to see us being highlighted for the
biodiesel converter we use to refine sunflower and soybean oil into biodiesel we use to run our farm machinery. If you search YouTube for Dee River Ranch, you’ll also probably stumble across another video highlighting our family as winners of the 2007 Region II Environmental Stewardship Award. The next year, my family was honored to win the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Excellence in Conservation Award for 2008.
You see, not only do we take pride as cattlemen in producing the safest and most wholesome beef in the world, we also feel great about the other title we’ve earned over the years – America’s original environmentalists.
President, Alabama Cattlemen’s Association