Young to hold ag talk

Agricultural issues which affect local farmers and national economies will be discussed at an event tonight in Webster City.

The Webster City Area Chamber Agriculture Committee is hosting speaker Cyndi Young from Brownfield Ag News Team at the Prem Sahai Auditorium in Webster City High School at 7 pm for a presentation.

Young is an Oscar in Agriculture winner, known for her straight talk and common sense when it comes to rural America and agriculture, according to a Chamber release. Young will talk about agricultural education, careers, rural and urban connections and genetically modified foods. Doug Getter, Webster City mayor and member of the agriculture committee, said the group invited Young to town so she could make community members aware of such significant issues.

For instance, Getter said the issue of genetically modified foods has had a far-reaching impact. He said groups who are against the practice are trying to get referendums on ballots in several states which would require grocery stores to label any food which contains genetically modified material.

Getter said the practice would have monumental consequences. He said upwards of 90 percent of corn and soybeans planted in the U.S. Are genetically modified, which would make it extremely difficult for grocery stores to identify which foods have genetically modified material. Getter said it would lead to increased grocery prices. Additionally, he said the fear over genetically modified foods is baseless.

“The bottom line is, the Food and Drug Administration, to the best of everyone’s knowledge, has had no complaints of any health issues derived from genetically modified consumer products,” Getter said.

The issue is not just discussed in the U.S., according to Getter, who said the European Union has continued to stonewall the introduction of genetically modified foods. He said it’s important for community members to recognize the importance of these issues which affect them on many different scales.

“The creation of fear is rampant,” Getter said. “As an area that is very dependent on production agriculture, we in Webster City, Iowa, American, need to be, I think, very cognizant of things happening in the global marketplace. Ultimately, these grains are a global commodity.”

The public is invited to attend today’s event for free. On Thursday, Young will be present at the Webster City Area Chamber Quarterly Coffee and will be available to visit with members after the coffee. An Ag Luncheon will also be hosted by the Chamber and sponsored by Monsanto at noon at The Bridge. Those who are interested in attending and are affiliated with agriculture, please contact the Chamber for more information at (515) 832-2564.