KayDee Gilkey American Farm Bureau YF&R Collegiate Discussion Meet Winner CSU Senior
by KayDee Gilkey, click here for bio

Program: Farm and Ranch Report
Date: February 16, 2017

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Earlier this week, Colorado State University Senior Ryan O’Reilly was named the winner at the American Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Rancher Collegiate Discussion Meet.

O’Reilly is studying environmental and natural resource economics. The last topic he addressed was ensuring that farmers and ranchers — not government agencies — are in control of natural resources management.

O’Reilly: “In regards to the management of natural resources, I think it really starts with digging in to what the EPA and the BLM why they have these regulations. First you need to analyze that. Then after that, we analyze our own farms and our own production practices and we compare the two. If we have been doing the same production practices for decades without really being almost influenced by these agencies, we’ve just been doing it because it is the way of the farmer to take care of the land because it takes care of their family and it takes care of their livestock. If we’ve been doing that without government intervention — that’s a story that needs to be told. Because a lot of times the public comes in and think they know how we manage our farms but we can show them that we’ve been doing it for decades and we’ve been doing it correctly for decades. That balances the social values and the private values of farmers and ranchers. That is where you can really make so headway in this discussion.”

He added that it is really important to sway public opinion on behalf of the ag industry and share the good story of stewardship that farmers and ranchers are currently doing.

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