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Crazy election season in Kansas -9/2/2014, 9:33 AM

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Labor Day -8/31/2014, 4:39 PM

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Blacks must confront reality -8/29/2014, 10:00 AM

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Business climate of Kansas -8/24/2014, 11:39 AM

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Ferguson police arrest reporters for reporting -8/20/2014, 8:21 AM

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Another road map to success? -8/19/2014, 10:05 AM

It's the abuse of power, stupid -8/19/2014, 10:04 AM

Riots in Ferguson, and what they mean -8/18/2014, 9:57 AM

One of billions -8/18/2014, 9:57 AM

The GOP presents: Barack-nado -8/17/2014, 2:08 PM

Media and Missouri: What's going on? -8/17/2014, 2:08 PM

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'Poor door' -- a symbol of a truth we all know -8/13/2014, 9:19 AM

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The slacker congress -8/12/2014, 9:02 AM

CIA vs. Senate -8/12/2014, 9:02 AM

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The debate is over -8/11/2014, 8:54 AM

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Is cross a history lesson or state religion? -8/10/2014, 3:28 PM

Another downgrade -8/10/2014, 3:28 PM

State economy plays critical role in the future of FHSU -8/10/2014, 2:09 PM

Building on past successes for a stronger future -8/10/2014, 2:09 PM

Will Palin's channel rival Comedy Central? -8/8/2014, 9:25 AM

Western anti-Semitism -8/8/2014, 9:25 AM

Patrolmen without borders -8/7/2014, 10:13 AM

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Too few voters -8/6/2014, 10:03 AM

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Selfies in Auschwitz -- and why it's wrong -8/6/2014, 10:03 AM

Election turnout -8/5/2014, 9:19 AM

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Beauty all around us -8/5/2014, 9:18 AM

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Do-nothing Congress -8/3/2014, 12:02 PM

Seeking the ultimate 'redress of grievances' -8/3/2014, 11:43 AM

Kansas values -8/3/2014, 11:43 AM

A candidate with morals, integrity -8/3/2014, 11:43 AM

Huelskamp deserves vote -8/3/2014, 11:42 AM

One third of 1 percent makes difference -8/3/2014, 11:42 AM

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Please stop helping us -8/1/2014, 10:57 AM

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Huelskamp's attention to detail -8/1/2014, 10:57 AM

Surprise, surprise, surprise -7/31/2014, 10:12 AM

Medicaid expansion a win-win for Kansas -7/31/2014, 10:12 AM

Term limits are first step -7/31/2014, 10:12 AM

Vote for what's right -7/31/2014, 10:12 AM

The next governor -7/31/2014, 10:12 AM

Shultz is the pick -7/31/2014, 10:11 AM

Eyeing the children -7/30/2014, 9:01 AM

Speak from the heart -7/30/2014, 9:01 AM

Changing attitudes -7/30/2014, 9:01 AM

Time to replace Huelskamp -7/30/2014, 9:00 AM

Water vision -7/29/2014, 9:48 AM

No longer a supporter -7/29/2014, 9:47 AM

The power of punctuation -7/29/2014, 9:47 AM

Running for the wrong bus -7/28/2014, 9:04 AM

Old Old Mexico -- Culture and content -7/28/2014, 9:03 AM

The defining issue of economic recovery -7/27/2014, 4:53 PM

In a world of sectarian violence, what can be done? -7/27/2014, 4:53 PM

Funding DHDC -7/27/2014, 1:18 PM

Endorsement for Shultz -7/25/2014, 3:28 PM

Against the wind -7/25/2014, 4:23 PM

Do blacks need favors? -7/25/2014, 4:23 PM

Vote Huelskamp out -7/25/2014, 4:23 PM

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SPOTLIGHT
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Animal care

Published on -2/19/2014, 9:58 AM

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Farmers and ranchers always have adhered to sound principles of animal care for their livestock.

Society's views on animal welfare, on the other hand, continue to evolve.

Today, people are becoming more concerned for the animal's quality of life.

While there are fringe groups, "activists" if you will, many people have honest questions and concerns about the quality of life for food animals.

Who are these people?

Some are like you. Others might be like me.

They are not opposed to eating meat. They just want to know that while that sow is going through the production cycle, she has a reasonable quality of life.

Consumers want to know animals are not abused, or subjected to inhumane conditions. They believe animals should be well-cared for and the people who care for them honestly care for them.

Farmers and ranchers cannot single out anyone and place blame for these changing societal views. Instead, the agricultural sector must view this as our culture and society coming to terms with new types of social issues. It just so happens animals have become integrated into this process.

One reason for this new interest in animal welfare might be Western European, Japanese and U.S. consumers do not have to worry about where their next meal comes from.

U.S. citizens have time to contemplate the quality of life for animals in this country, but few of us want to change our own lifestyles.

Farmers and ranchers -- those people who provide our food -- will have to continue to accept and use sound animal husbandry practices. If agricultural producers honestly show they are putting effort into meeting a standard of care that's beneficial and conducive to a healthy-living standard, the public will accept and embrace those who raise and care for livestock.

Agricultural producers must stay tuned to societal and consumer concerns and be responsive industrywide while enhancing the well-being of their livestock.

That said, today's consumers will continue to regard agriculture highly and embrace a food which they enjoy and feel good about.

John Schlageck is a leading commentator on agriculture and rural Kansas. Born and raised on a diversified farm in northwest Kansas, his writing reflects a lifetime of experience, knowledge and passion.

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