Farmers: Help Wanted

indexCallicrate Cattle Company is urging Cheyenne County farmers and landowners to consider planting non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) crops.

More than thirty countries and many food companies ban GMOs or are putting bans in place. The U.S., in its refusal to listen to the customer, continues to lose more export markets as a result of its biased support of GMO technology. Failing to deliver on promises of higher yields and less pesticide use, Monsanto is using its market domination of the seed industry to force farmers to buy exorbitantly high-priced seeds and chemicals, while eliminating non-modified varieties. Over 90% of our nation’s corn acres are now genetically modified, with nearly 100% of the genetics controlled by one company – Monsanto.

Thirty-five years ago, I was part of a local group that built the first commercial feed yard in Cheyenne County. We didn’t suspect at the time that the biggest meat packers in the country were already unfairly cooperating to lower the price of livestock and capture our markets, essentially designing the fools-game we call a marketplace today. Since then, we have lost nearly half of our nation’s ranchers, more than 90% of our hog farmers, and more than 85% of our dairies. According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 2,000 feed yards went out of business just last year. Poultry production is now totally captured by multinational companies dictating a vertically integrated system of confinement production, environmental degradation and morally questionable production practices. Today’s unprecedented corporate control over livestock production and farming has malformed agriculture into a profit-at-all-costs agribusiness that depletes our resources and eliminates genetic diversity. The U.S. in now a net food importer on a value basis. We are unable to feed ourselves!

At Callicrate Cattle Co., we continue our commitment of building a healthy alternative to the extractive industrial food system. For the last 14 years, our Colorado Springs-based ranch-to-retail company Ranch Foods Direct has worked at building a model of processing and wholesale/retail distribution that connects farmers and ranchers more directly to consumers, providing good local food while improving farm and ranch income.

Please consider supporting the rapidly growing demand for healthier food while helping restore good health to our land and community – plant non-GMO crop varieties.

Letter to the Editor Saint Francis Herald, Cheyenne County, KS dated January 13, 2014

By Mike Callicrate

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