Monthly Archives: February 2011

An Open Letter to All Media

My name is Megan Brown and I’m a sixth generation commercial cattle rancher in Butte County, I attended Chico State earning my degree in agriculture and have worked in production agriculture fulltime until last year.  There has been an increased amount of bad publicity and inaccurate information regarding the Ag industry from certain misinformed people and the media. So I have become very passionate and vocal about what I do.

I read your article in the ________, “____________”and I think you have some misconceptions about what I do. Our family, like 99% of all the other families in this area, sell our cattle to feedlots or “CAFO’s”. Having spent time on and toured theses “CAFO’s” I have to I disagree with your claim that “as the worst possible hellhole a living thing could end up”. You see, we love our cattle a great deal. We spend every day with them, caring for them, and ensuring they are well fed and happy. If I thought for even a second that when we send them to a feedlot they were unhappy or being abused we simply would not do it. Modern agriculture is truly amazing, we have come so far in terms of humane animal handling, genetics and nutrition. I am always amazed how well our animals are treated, in fact we joke that they receive better care than we do! After all they get a nutritionist and a veterinarian with them every the step of the way!

By painting such an evil picture of CAFO’s you are essentially saying that my family, my friends and I are the problem. You are implying that we know no better, that we are getting “janked”. Again I have to disagree with you. I consider myself incredibly lucky to be amongst the 2% of the population in production agriculture. In fact someday, I hope my children are lucky enough to get paid “an insult of a wage” (although I’m going to disagree with you again, I’ve never felt like I got paid “an insult of a wage”) I realize there is a huge disconnect between farm and fork, giving people like Mr. Schlosser ample opportunity into scaring people into buying his books. And that makes me sad, but also provides me with a golden opportunity to “agvocate” for my way of life.

I could embed link after link trying to prove my point here so instead how about a field trip? How about touring a couple of local ranches, and the University Farm? I would be delighted to show you an actual cattle ranch. I would love to show you the University feedlot. I would love to share what 30 years in the cattle industry has taught me. In the meantime social media makes it easier than ever to connect with farmers and ranchers all around the world. If you have a twitter

account try #agchat – it’s a grassroots movement of farmers telling their stories. Feel free to check out my blog about my life on a ranch, http://megraeb.wordpress.com/2010/12/07/my-factory-farm/. Even Oprah recently did a show on feedlots and how they aren’t what many people have been claiming. Please take this opportunity to learn what actually happens on a cattle ranch and a feedlot from someone who actually knows what they are talking about. Thank you for your consideration, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or wish to take me up on my offer.

Sincerely,

Megan Brown

P.S. I can’t resist attaching some other family farmer blogs to give you more resources.

http://commonsenseagriculture.com/

http://iafarmwife.com/

http://daringrimm.wordpress.com/

http://jplovescotton.com/

http://edibleintelligence.blogspot.com/

http://meatblogger.org/

http://slaughterhouse9844.com/

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