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June 17, 2014

Looking at the Future Through the Information Revolution

For more information on Newsline, contact: Kari Barbic, Media Specialist, American Farm Bureau Federation, karib@fb.org.

The future is still out there, according to Dr. Lowell Catlett, New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Dean and Chief Administrative Officer. Catlett explains what he means in this story with Seanica Otterby.
OtterbyNew Mexico State University Agricultural Economics Regents Professor Dr. Lowell Catlett says for agriculture, there’s never been such a period of prosperity worldwide as now. He says the growing population aspires for a better quality of life, which translates to opportunities for agriculture.
CatlettSo they’ve got money, and they’re willing to spend it on food and preservation of natural resources, which is what agriculture has been doing in the United States for years. So, it’s just a great time to be in the industry.
OtterbyCatlett says agriculture is in an information revolution, and that revolution is dwarfing the previous chemical and mechanization revolutions by making it possible to provide food for 7.2-billion people on the planet.
CatlettWe’re truly in that era of using both the chemical and mechanical revolutions in a way that we just never knew possible before, and that’s the information revolution.
OtterbyRegarding the use of genetically modified technology, Catlett says there is no single aspect of agriculture that has not been genetically modified in agriculture’s 10,000 years.
CatlettCorn itself is grass’s Neolithic woman. Basically started crossing different grasses until we got present day corn. Well, that was genetic modification. And we’ve done so with all of our domestic animals because Mother Nature does that. So, to say that we’re against genetic modified organisms is basically to say you’re against agriculture because that’s what’s happened by Mother Nature.
OtterbyCatlett spoke at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Strategic Policy, Advocacy, Resources and Communications Conference in Kansas City today. Seanica Otterby, Kansas City.

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