Jamie) Welcome back to Farm Factor and the Kansas Soybean Update.
(Greg) This is the Kansas Soybean Update. It’s brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission. The Soybean Checkoff, Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers. Katie Sawyer from McPherson County is joining us and she serves as a volunteer for Common Ground Kansas. And Katie for those who are not familiar with Common Ground Kansas, what is it all about? (Katie) Common Ground is a national level organization that has several state affiliates and Kansas is one of them. We’re a group of farm women, wives, or women involved in agriculture somehow speaking out on behalf of the agriculture industry. We really try to focus on not using fear, not using intimidation, but just simply talking about the facts and what’s involved in the production of your food. We try to talk on a female to female level, Moms to Moms, wives to wives and really just help women understand what we do, why we do it, and how it impacts them. (Greg) Give us some examples of some of the conversations you’ve had with various people. (Katie) A lot of my conversations recently have focused on two main topics, and that drives what we do on our farm and that’s GMO crops and the use of pesticides on those crops and then antibiotics in beef production. There’s a lot of misinformation and a lot of lack of information out there about GMOs and why farmers use them and how they may or may not affect the consumer. So, we talk a lot about they are perfectly safe. They do not force us to use more pesticides. In fact, we can use less pesticides. We use less inputs in general. And it helps us produce a crop in conditions that we previously could not produce crops. On the beef side, the antibiotics is always a big question. We do responsibly use antibiotics in our beef. We feel like that is the humane thing to do to treat our animals when they are sick and we don’t just feed it to our animals. It’s a lot of just here’s how we use it on our farm and help them understand what the process is behind our decision. (Greg) How important is it for groups like Kansas Soybeans to be a supporter and have that support behind you? (Katie) Oh, it’s huge. They have national level understanding of the industry. They can provide us resources. They can provide us data. They provide us financial support. But the Corn and Soybean Commissions are huge in making this possible. Without them we could not be able to have the platform that we have and have the name recognition that we do. We add new volunteers across the country, almost on a weekly if not monthly basis. As women we figure out what we’re doing and what this is all about. They want to jump on board. A lot of women, like myself, probably do it day in and day out on our own. But being able to have the common ground behind our name really magnifies and catapults that message. (Greg) There are those who are interested in finding out more about Common Ground, what’s the best way they can do that? (Katie) It’s findourcommonground.com and from there they can go to the different state chapters and then there’s also national level information as well. (Greg) That is Katie Sawyer. She serves as a volunteer for Common Ground Kansas and she’s been our guest on the Kansas Soybean Update. It’s brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission. The Soybean Checkoff, Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers. Learn more at kansassoybeans.org. For Kansas Soybeans, I’m Greg Akagi.
(Jamie) Hope you enjoyed this week’s Kansas Soybean Update. After the break we’ll catch up with Duane and Paul Penner, Immediate Past President of the National Association of Wheat Growers.