Radio host speaks to students about agriculture
CALEDONIA, Minn. — Too many people have misinformation about agriculture, radio show host Trent Loos said April 8 at Caledonia High School.
"The disconnect drives me nuts," he told approximately 100 people in the audience, mostly high school agriculture students from Caledonia, Rushford and Spring Valley. The public was also invited.
He wanted to challenge the audience to think differently and understand the importance of food and agriculture.
He asked what they thought about products such as high fructose corn syrup, meat and milk.
Everything is good in moderation, he said, and knowledge about nutrients in food is key for proper nutrition.
The proper amount of fat helps a person function, and there are fats considered healthier than others. The fat around the the edge of a steak is saturated fat, the kind nutrition guidelines say should be very limited in a diet, but the marbling is monounsaturated fat, the healthier fat found in olive oil, he said.
Americans are not drinking nearly as much milk today as they did 60 years ago. He said studies are finding high deficiencies of calcium, deficiencies of vitamin D and an increase in bone fractures in the American population. Other studies suggest people who eat meat don't suffer as much from depression, he said.
Loos also discussed the far-reaching role of agriculture. Farms convert natural resources into products people can consume. It's an industry people couldn't exist without, he said.
Science and technology are helping agriculture become more efficient to meet the needs of a growing world population. Less cows are making more milk today than in the past with less land, less water and while emitting less carbon, he said.
Loos also explained his frustration about the way some people regard hormones used in animal production. Hormones like estrogen are given to cattle to increase feed efficiency. Conventionally-raised cattle given estrogen will produce beef with approximately the same amount of estrogen as beef from cattle who don't receive the hormone, he said. A garden salad or birth control pills have much more of the hormone than a serving of meat, he said.
"If you don't have hormones in your food, your food is not going to do anything for you," he said.
Loos told the students to follow their passion in life, whatever it may be. If it's to work in the agriculture industry, he told them not to let anyone talk them out of it. He also asked the students to be leaders among their peers and influence others with their actions.
"One person can, and does, make a difference," he said.
Questions from the audience were about his meat goats, why people are drinking less milk, pork prices, preservatives in food, raw milk and if there have been recent cases of cattle infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
Loos' visit was sponsored through a collaborative effort by the Houston, Goodhue and Wabasha county Farm Bureaus. Loos also spoke at the Zumbrota VFW that evening.
Cynthie Christensen, president of Houston County Farm Bureau, said there are many myths about agriculture and food. She thought Loos did a good job of getting students to participate in the discussion during his visit in Caledonia.
The Houston County Cattlemen's Association, Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, Merchant's Bank-Caledonia and Farmers Co-op Elevator also helped sponsor Loos' visit to Caledonia.
Loos launched his radio program, Loos Tales, in 2001. The show is broadcast on nearly 100 radio stations in 19 states. He also hosts other programs. He and his wife, Kelli, live on a ranch in central Nebraska with their three daughters. They have horses, cattle, pigs and meat goats.