Opinion by Brandon Butler
USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- One of the great frustrations of my life’s work is the divide between conservation and agriculture.
Growing up hunting on farms across northern Indiana, I came to look at these working properties as magical places. To this day, nothing compares to sitting watch over a picked cornfield on a frosty November morning waiting on a buck. If not for the farmers who let me hunt their land, my life would have likely taken a much different course. Now I’m determined to help close the gap between agriculture and conservation. To find paths forward that benefit those working in agriculture and those outside of the industry who care about the health of the land, water, and air.
First of all, farming has changed a lot in my 40 years. Most of the small acreage farms I grew up hunting are gone. The few remaining will likely only last as long as the current elderly owners remain alive. Technology and precision equipment has made farming more efficient, but also more expensive. Overhead costs today are far greater than what it took to run a couple of tractors on a 160-acres of row crops or raise a small herd of cattle just 20 years ago.
Agriculture is big business, so no one can blame a farmer for trying to maximize his yield by using his or her land to produce the most income possible. But like all industries, agriculture is evolving. Some long-standing practices are beginning to face questions and new methods of production, which include the restoration of native grasses and less application of chemicals, are beginning to take