By Jon H. Harsch
© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.
WASHINGTON, April 19 – Animal-rights activists may have met their match in Nebraska's Teresa Scanlan, crowned Miss America 2011 at 18, the contest's youngest-ever winner.
Left to Right: Jess Peterson, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association; Roger Johnson, President, National Farmers Union;
In a Fox News opinion article on “Why All Americans Have a Stake In the Success of Our Farmers and Ranchers,” Miss Scanlan writes that back home in Gering, Nebraska, “This time of year, farmers plant seeds in hopes for Mother Nature’s cooperation and a successful harvest. Ranchers help birth the next generation of their herds and hope for fair market prices. And workers at the local sugar plant catch their breath after a busy winter and hope for a bumper crop this fall so they can do it all over again.”
For Scanlan, busy with a year of service focused on spreading the word about agriculture, healthful eating, childhood obesity, and education, the slow economic recovery and natural disasters around the world mean that “This year’s crop has the potential to be the most valuable in U.S. history . . . so whether we live in New York's Manhattan or Manhattan, Kansas, we should all be rooting for a good growing season.” She adds that “Increased U.S. production would also help ease the political instability and tensions aided by food shortages in other parts of the world.”
On the question of whether the U.S. farm sector can continue to meet the food needs of the exploding world population, Scanlan says yes, as long as “we avoid weakening the very infrastructure that makes it all possible.” She calls on all Americans to “reconnect with our rural roots and understand that we all have a stake in the success of farmers and ranchers.”
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