I'm a big proponent of supporting local farms and knowing your farmer. Therefore, I was a bit ashamed that I didn't know what really went on at the University of Maryland Farm that is right down the street from the house I grew up in. Luckily, they hold an annual open house that I managed to attend last year. I took a tractor ride tour of the land.
And felt inside of a cow's stomach. I had seen the whole "cow with a hole in the side of it" thing before on documentaries, but actually putting my hand inside was brand new. I'm still not sure that I think cutting a hole in the side of a cow is particularly ok, but the cow I met was very sweet and didn't seem in any pain. They swear that she was not drugged and that she is, in fact, not suffering.
Some interesting facts that I learned that I really wanted to share with you all deal with the state of agricultural research in this country. The sad truth is that it is extremely rare to get independent research conducted today. Students at the University of Maryland, and other agricultural universities, don't receive enough government or university funding for research. Which means that they must go out and get grants elsewhere. And where do you think they get this money from? Industry.
Now think about that. If the research being conducted is being paid for by the very companies who have a stake in a particular outcome, how unbiased and trustworthy are the results?
Independent testing is important. The government is often overly entangled in things in this country, but research is an area where it actually should be, and it is becoming less and less involved. Fair and unbiased research is in the good of the country.
In case you were wondering, yes, the UMD farm plants all GMO corn. Even BT corn. Anyone surprised?