Speaking to a luncheon hosted by H.J. Baker at IPPE 2016, Trent Loos, a Nebraska rancher who calls himself the voice of rural America, said, “The consumer is leading us down a very dangerous path. We can either cave in, such as the United Kingdom has done, or put our feet down and show the consumer what we have accomplished with American agriculture.”

Loos told the audience that agriculture has to find a way to find a balance between public perceptions and reality. The fact that most people have no contact with agriculture or much understanding of food production is letting the anti-agriculture faction's message take hold.

“In 2000, I thought consumers needed to know more about how their food is produced, so I started by blogging and doing radio broadcasts,” said Loos. Since that time, consumer concerns over the food supply have increased, but so have the number of messages they are hearing about it. “Now I think they know too much, and much of what they know is wrong. So we need to educate the consumer as to the reality.”

Loos cited consumer misconceptions about hormone use in beef and chicken production, and consumer concerns and beliefs about antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance.

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“Too much of what they know isn’t so,” said Loos. “If you flew here, you sat next to someone who didn't understand what you do.” He said everyone working in agriculture needs to take on the challenge of educating everyone they meet on the real facts.

Vegan protein supplement

At IPPE, H.J. Baker introduced Vegain, a vegan protein supplement for poultry. The company says the all-natural protein sources optimize growth, performance and feed conversion and delivers significant body weight gain, when compared with all all-vegetable diets.