August 20th, 2009 pt. 2

Since I originally meant to write about a topic besides filth, here is part two. Many persons feel they are well informed in today’s society. Reading a reputable newspaper, perusing multiple internet journals and commentaries, looking at acclaimed news sources such as BBC online, and even balanced coverage of television and radio news…if anything is to be found not owned by Fox or Clear Channel.

Once I began an active involvement with agriculture, I became aware that news coverage exists which only overlaps the mainstream media sources occasionally. I thought I’d shine a flashlight (that was humor) on two weekly journals to which I subscribe, Capital Press and AgAlert. Capital Press has the appearance of a traditional newspaper, and reports on the happenings of agriculture in CA, OR, WA and ID. It contains humorous columnists, great seasonal recipes, and a Classified section to help anyone find that perfect llama. The California Farm Bureau publishes the "Life Magazine" sized AgAlert. Interestingly enough, neither publication overlaps the other very much as to content. Here are some headlines from AgAlert: "New barley varieties for beer could revive malting in California", "Farmers express relief after Humboldt creamery sale", " ‘New and improved’ durum wheat is on the horizon", "Lygus favors pima cotton over upland varieties", "Alfalfa fields show some deficiency in molybdenum", "Processing tomato growers anticipate a good year." Now let’s try Capital Press: "Ugly year for ryegrass seed price", "Chinese exec pleads guilty in honey smuggling case", "Wal-Mart eyes change in how it buys produce."  The thing about all this that interests me so much is that each one of these news items sums up an article that affects all of us living here Out West. Clothing, textiles, Campbell’s soup, contaminated foods, University of California research…..these little nuggets are in the undercurrent of our daily lives and yet we hear about almost none of this from the agencies that are supposed to be informing us. So next time the Boob Tube is blabbing all the latest about Britney or Brangelina, turn the damn thing off and take a minute to look up some real news. Both these publications can be read online, for free….and ya really ought to know about this stuff as it affects the world a lot more than….um…..Hollywood celebrities and the latest network TV show.

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