July 5, 2022
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NYT Editorial Angers Farm State Lawmaker

A Midwest U.S. lawmaker has a ‘beef’ with the New York Times over its editorial alleging the beef industry is destroying the planet. South Dakota Congressman Dusty Johnson says the New York Times editorial made “sweeping, inaccurate statements” about the U.S. beef industry.

“I was disappointed earlier this week to see the New York Times had an opinion piece titled, and I’m not making this up, ’Meet the People Being Paid to Kill Our Planet.’”

It’s just the opposite, Johnson says; “In recent decades, the U.S. beef industry has reduced net emissions by more than 40 percent. And so, net emissions from U.S. beef production are ten times lower than net emissions in other parts of the world. Additionally, U.S. ranchers are producing the same amount of beef as they did in 1977 with 33 percent fewer animals, and, of course, less land being used as well.”

With farm productivity 287 percent greater in 2017 than in 1948, U.S. farmers and ranchers are the most productive in the world. Those points are not lost on Livestock Chair Jim Costa; “I could not agree with you more. The collaborative and constructive efforts on behalf of American agriculture on a region by region basis, I think, has been significant. Yes, we can do more, and that’s part of the purpose of this subcommittee hearing. The fact is American agriculture does more with less.”

South Dakota’s Johnson added that a more sustainable Ag future will not come from the “harsh, scolding voices of the naysayers,” but the leadership and innovation of ag researchers and producers.

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