Letter: Farmers and ranchers protect and preserve daily
Today millions of folks interested in protecting and preserving the environment will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Earth Day is a great time to evaluate how our existence impacts the environment and how we can incorporate environmentally-friendly strategies.
Protecting and preserving the environment is something that North Dakota farmers and ranchers do every day. Being good environmental stewards is not a new concept for us. It is, and has been for generations, an absolute necessity for our survival on the northern plains as we convert sunshine and nutrients into healthy, tasty consumable protein.
Several North Dakota ranchers have been recognized nationally for their efforts. These families manage rotational grazing systems that make the best use of available forage, while improving the soil and the root structure of plants. They manage their land to provide wildlife habitat. They recycle nutrients, converting sunshine, rain and forage into beef and recycling the nutrients found in manure as fertilizers.
North Dakota beef producers are constantly incorporating innovative practices that help us do more with less. Today's farming and ranching families are producing more pounds of beef with fewer resources than at any time in history. If 1950's beef production practices were used to generate the amount of beef raised today, 165 million more acres of land would be needed. That's about the size of Texas!
So, as you commemorate Earth Day and what you can do in your own life to protect the environment, join me in celebrating the day with a beef meal and thanking the North Dakota farming and ranching families for the work they do every day.
Jack Reich, North Dakota Stockmen's Association president, Zap