How Parenting, Farming and Technology Can Peacefully Coexist

As I pulled yet another Boogie Wipe from the package to wipe my toddler’s nasal faucet runny nose, an innocent onlooker asked, “Why don’t you just use a napkin or Kleenex instead of those expensive wipes?”

Allow me to explain:

Dearest stranger, have you ever wiped your nose all day with a rough napkin or tissue? If so, you know that a raw nose is most unpleasant. In fact, did you know there are some people who do not care AT ALL about dangling boogies and will try to evade any wiping action of a Kleenex (hint: those people are called toddlers)? So, when I am fast enough to get a pinch-full of phlegm, I want to be as gentle as possible and an aloe-softened Boogie Wipe is much gentler than a napkin.

It’s technology, folks. I mean, some genius invented these wipes that are gentler on my precious punkin’s nose than a regular ole tissue so why wouldn’t I use them if it’s easier and better for my little cowgirl?

The little cowgirl benefits from all forms of technology – food and otherwise.

As a parent, I want to provide the best for her and Boogie Wipes are the way to go [sidenote: I cannot believe I have reached a time in my life where I’m writing about wiping my kid’s nose on the Internet]. I have this technology mantra about a lot of parenting things, actually.

For example, digital baby monitors.

My parents have both said, “when you were a baby we only had the sound monitors with no video screen and you turned out just fine.”

That may be true, but by using that video screen I can ascertain whether a single cry is just that, or is a sign of a much larger tantrum that won’t go away without soothing (like if she is standing in the crib crying because her blankie fell on the floor). If I don’t have to get out of bed, that’s more sleep and a happier mama.

Another piece of technology I am oh-so-happy to adopt. Forehead thermometers.

I’m pretty sure there isn’t a parent alive that would take me to task for using a forehead or even a tympanic thermometer instead of the way of the golden days. This doesn’t need further explanation…

Technology in parenting is ever-changing and I’m perfectly happy to adopt safe technologies that help me care for my child in the best way possible.

Guess where else cutting-edge technology is being developed to help humankind in the best way possible? Agriculture.

#Inefficient. Also, not in my preferred day-to-day duties.

Farmers and ranchers have been developing, refining, adapting to and accepting new technologies for centuries. Technology is what got us from threshing wheat by hand in the 1700s to a GPS-enabled combine in the 21st century that makes harvesting crops a walk in the park.

Technology from improved equipment, better seed, soil management techniques, pesticide refinements and water management has vastly improved the efficiency of American farmers and ranchers and enabled us to produce more food using fewer inputs and resources, which is a great improvement for our planet’s sustainability.

For example in 1886, Kansas wheat farmers grew wheat on 68,000 acres and had an average yield of 19 bushels/acre. Fast forward 130 years, and in 2016 Kansas wheat farmers planted 8.5 million acres of wheat and had an average yield of 57 bushels/acre. Folks, you can’t feed the world, or even our country, with oxen, a plow and threshing wheat by hand.

Technology in farming and technology in parenting both heavily affect our children and families. So why are we so quick to adopt technology when it comes to taking care of our kids but when it comes to feeding them we are hesitant to provide them with what has been proven to be safe and healthy? The hypocrisy is rampant.

In regards to raising beef, the king of all protein, pounds of beef produced is vitally important. Ranchers want to have cattle with as much lean muscle as possible for two reasons:

  1. Consumers like you and I have asked for leaner beef so as an industry, beef ranchers have delivered what has been demanded. We aim to please.
  2. Lean muscle = heavier calves = more beef at slaughter = a larger payday. While I absolutely love my life of raising beef for a hungry world, it is a job and jobs must have paydays.

So in order to meet this demand for more lean beef, we implement growth implants for our cattle. A growth implant is a small pellet, placed beneath the skin on the back of the ear, which causes an increase in the secretion of growth hormones, and consequently more lean muscle. We utilize these implant technologies, which have been approved by the FDA as completely safe for more than 50 years, because they allow us to produce more beef using less resources, like feed and water, which in turn is better for our planet and makes our operation more sustainable. By not utilizing these technologies, we are essentially wasting an opportunity to improve our environmental footprint.

Beef growth hormone implant
One small pellet is inserted in the back of the ear and it makes a world’s difference!

I would be remiss to not discuss my favorite food technology – GMOs or genetically modified organisms. Quite frankly, GMOs save lives. In the 1940s, Dr. Normal Borlaug discovered ways to crossbreed seeds in order for them to produce more through improved planting practices. His work sparked the Green Revolution and was so astronomically critical to the world’s food security that he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970. Literally, billions of people evaded starvation because of his ingenuity. Today, we have 10 GMOs available on the market that were developed for a variety of reasons ranging from decreased bruising/browning, to increased yields and pest resistance. All of these GMO traits allow farmers to produce food using fewer resources but also food that is better for our families and that can help reduce food waste (which is a massive problem I have addressed multiple times). GMOs have been proven safe for decades and there isn’t a single reputable documented case anywhere, at all, that shows so much as a sniffle from consuming GMOs in animals or people. 

Technology in farming and technology in parenting both heavily affect our children and families. So why are we so quick to adopt technology when it comes to taking care of our kids but when it comes to feeding them we are hesitant to provide them with what has been proven to be safe and healthy? The hypocrisy is rampant.

Right now 2% of the American population feeds 100% and as one of those 2% I can honestly say, I am fine with that number. I accept the challenge and I love what we do out here in the heartland raising beef. But it’s an unfair to ask us to produce more food, at an affordable price, for a growing country while simultaneously trying to strip away the technologies that make such accomplishments possible.

Food should be enjoyed, not feared, and American agricultural technology can, and does, provide us with the safest food supply in the entire world. If you have questions about how your food is produced or the technologies we use (this was just a minute window into agricultural technology), I’m begging you – we’re all begging you – please ask us. I would absolutely love to show you around our ranch, answer your questions about cows or horses, and help you learn more about your food passions. And if I don’t know the answer, I can definitely find an expert to help you out.

Hoping to hear your questions often in 2018!

Until next time
~ Buzzard ~

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I was not compensated by Boogie Wipes for this post – these thoughts are strictly my own and are not influenced by Boogie Wipes or any other brands. 


2 responses to “How Parenting, Farming and Technology Can Peacefully Coexist”

  1. sharon Drake Avatar
    sharon Drake

    You are doing just fine with wipes or anything else that makes your life or your little one nose to stay soft. Thank you for sharing your family life and agriculture progress with us. Thank you Sharon drake south central Kansas.

    1. Avatar

      Thank you for the words of encouragement!