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Speaker details ‘greatest untold story’ in America

Speaker details ‘greatest untold story’ in America
Speaker details ‘greatest untold story’ in America
Larry Day speaks with Trent Loos, right, an agriculture activist from Nebraska, Friday at the Days' hog barn along S.R. 11 near Elizabeth. Loos was in the area as part of a local foods program hosted by the Harrison County Purdue Extension Office. Photo by Ross Schulz

Harrison County Purdue Extension hosted, on Saturday, agriculture advocate and sixth-generation rancher Trent Loos, who shed light on what he called the ‘greatest untold story in our country.’
Loos was the keynote speaker at Local Foods seminar at Lincoln Hills Christian Church in Corydon.
Loos said the improvements in farm efficiency, both with livestock and crops, is the greatest story no one hears about.
Loos has a radio show, Loos Tales (on live365.com), dedicated to exploring the interesting people and places of rural America.
He established his strong rural foundation in farming side-by-side with his father and grandfather on a farm near Quincy, Ill.
Loos and his family now live in central Nebraska.
‘When anti-agriculture activists threatened the way of life he cherished, it was time to take a stand,’ his biography, found at www.loostales.com, reads. ‘Consumers, even individuals in other aspects of agriculture, were listening to and believing the lies being spread by celebrities and vegan zealots. Somebody needed to speak on behalf of the hard-working farmers and ranchers of America. Trent accepted the challenge.’
Loos said farmers are producing three times the human consumable protein than it did in 1951 from the same source.
‘If Ford or someone made a car half as green as today’s cattle, CNN wouldn’t stop talking about it,’ he said.
Loos said the only way to increase production is to minimize stress, whether it be to the animal, farmer or crops.
Despite what animal activists may say, farm animals have never been more comfortable than they are on today’s American farms, he said. With digital temperature gauges and other advanced methods, farmers are always able to make sure the animals are comfortable.
Loos said a couple generations ago a sow would have, on average, 12 pigs per year. Now, the average production is 33 pigs per year.
Strides also have been made when it comes to feed, with farmers now using four million fewer acres of corn.
‘That’s corn that can be devoted to something else,’ Loos said.
Loos said when the country experienced its worst drought on record, in 2012, it was still able to produce the fourth largest corn crop in the country’s history.
The school lunch program in the United States, Loos continued, has been completely destroyed in the name of better health.
He said each child is given the same amount and same type of food even though no child, or person, has the same needs.
‘If we fed cattle the way we feed our children, we’d go broke,’ Loos said.
Schoolchildren receive a 700-calorie meal, regardless if they weigh 75 or 200 pounds, and a child who’s active in sports also will need a different diet.
‘And yet we’re letting the USDA feed our children that way,’ he said.
‘All we’ve heard for years is that we’ve got to get the fat and cholesterol out of our diet,’ Loos continued. ‘Now, the Mayo Clinic (cardiovascular health division) comes out and says we need to eat eggs every day. We’ve come full circle.’
Since George McGovern raised concerns about fat in Americans’ diets in 1976, the country has only gotten bigger and had more cardiovascular issues.
Loos said the fat a person gets from bacon is the same fat in olive oil, which he sarcastically called the ‘golden child’ of healthy eating.
Loos said it’s not just the animal rights’ activists and healthy-eating crowd that’s hurting the cause, but it’s also the beef industry itself which promotes lean this and lean that.
‘We need to educate instead of promoting lean,’ he said.
However, Loos said, there’s no magic formula to a healthy diet.
‘You eat a moderate amount of all food groups and exercise more than you eat,’ he said. ‘It’s common sense.’
Loos said his grandmother, who lived to be 102, used to make lard sandwiches for them to take to school.
‘If I did that today, they’d hit me with a lawsuit,’ he said.
Loos’ final story involved a valedictorian at a high school in Harbor Beach, Mich., who stood up for its FFA chapter when the school district planned to have it shut down in 2003 to save money. The principal warned the students that if anything was done at the commencement ceremony to try to sway public opinion about the decision, they would not receive their diplomas. After thinking it over and wondering what he’d say in his valedictorian speech, the student ended up defying the principal by simply putting on his FFA jacket.
‘He got a five-minute standing ovation,’ Loos said.
He said that young man thought about what the principal told them and realized he’d have to live with each decision he made in his life, but he also understood he’d have to live with every decision he didn’t make.
‘Our silence is what makes it impossible for us to be heard,’ Loos told Saturday’s crowd of about 40.
He said it didn’t matter to him if it there were 40 or 400 people there, because all it took was one person, like the high school valedictorian in Michigan, to make a difference.
The seminar, put together by Miranda Ulery, a Harrison County Extension educator, included other guest speakers and a lunch provided by the Harrison County Cattleman Association.
On Friday, Loos visited the Day farm near Elizabeth and the Carr farm near Depauw, as well as the Fred Cammack Corydon Farmers Market.
Loos can be found on Facebook and Twitter and also at loostales.com.

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