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ALEC's starring role in the 'Wrecking Crew' -12/19/2014, 10:17 AM

Should profiling be banned? -12/19/2014, 10:06 AM

No right to misbehave -12/18/2014, 10:09 AM

Pompeo deserves thanks -12/18/2014, 10:00 AM

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Christ's role -12/18/2014, 9:59 AM

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Adapting to change -12/17/2014, 10:30 AM

Brownback's 'vision' -12/17/2014, 10:30 AM

Young at heart -12/17/2014, 10:29 AM

Newman provides western Kansas education -12/17/2014, 10:29 AM

Big banks win again -12/16/2014, 9:37 AM

Securing the future of aerospace in Kansas -12/16/2014, 9:36 AM

The future with Brownback -12/16/2014, 9:36 AM

White Christmas, red Christmas -12/15/2014, 9:20 AM

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Flying Hays later -12/14/2014, 4:33 PM

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The case of Scott Panetti -12/10/2014, 10:14 AM

Word origins -12/10/2014, 10:14 AM

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KDOT funding -12/9/2014, 8:45 AM

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Core freedoms under fire -12/7/2014, 3:17 PM

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Care and feeding of farm animals -12/3/2014, 10:19 AM

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-12/3/2014, 10:00 AM

Kudos to school for bilingual efforts -12/2/2014, 11:42 AM

Wages prompting county workers to seek better jobs -12/2/2014, 11:42 AM

County employees urge public's support -12/2/2014, 11:42 AM

'Horrible Bosses 2' disappoints;  new 'Star Wars' trailer thrills -12/2/2014, 10:19 AM

Power rests with House speaker -12/2/2014, 10:01 AM

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Out of sight, or out of luck? -12/1/2014, 10:20 AM

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Kansas turns South -11/30/2014, 5:33 PM

When should holy days become holidays? -11/30/2014, 5:33 PM

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Give a child hope and a home -11/26/2014, 9:12 AM

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Today's faults -11/26/2014, 7:45 AM

Meatless Mondays -- forget about it -11/26/2014, 7:45 AM

Cosby, serial rapist? That's a lot to forgive -11/26/2014, 7:45 AM

Letting it fly -11/26/2014, 7:45 AM

KanCare oversight -11/26/2014, 7:45 AM

Giving thanks for blessings as Kansans -11/25/2014, 10:11 AM

Local fixes to local problems? -11/25/2014, 10:11 AM

Energy security -11/25/2014, 10:11 AM

Elite contempt for ordinary Americans -11/24/2014, 9:12 AM

Pipeline politics -11/24/2014, 10:04 AM

They killed Peter Kassig -11/24/2014, 10:04 AM

Going from bad to good on election night -11/23/2014, 6:38 PM

Free Speech can be shield or a sword -11/23/2014, 6:38 PM

Dodge City merger -11/22/2014, 6:38 PM

House mis-speaker -11/21/2014, 9:50 AM

Obama vs. Us -11/21/2014, 9:50 AM

Really smart conservatives love public debt -11/21/2014, 9:50 AM

Official welcome -11/20/2014, 9:52 AM

Control freaks in the U.S. -11/20/2014, 1:24 PM

How did we get here? -11/20/2014, 9:52 AM

An open letter to the GOP -11/19/2014, 10:03 AM

Successful farming -11/19/2014, 10:03 AM

Getting personal -11/18/2014, 9:15 AM

Teachers, not facilities -11/18/2014, 9:15 AM

Schoolteachers and the Legislature -11/18/2014, 9:06 AM

Water vision -11/18/2014, 9:06 AM

I see wonderful things -11/17/2014, 9:26 AM

Politics prevail over truth in Kansas elections -11/17/2014, 9:26 AM

Progress at mall -11/16/2014, 5:22 PM

Opinions on the general election -11/16/2014, 5:22 PM

Why are schools afraid of freedom? -11/16/2014, 5:22 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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