Cyndi's Two Cents

In support of science


The Science Council defines science as the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence.

The Science Council tells us that scientific methodology includes the following:

  • Objective observation: Measurement and data (possibly although not necessarily using mathematics as a tool)
  • Evidence
  • Experiment and/or observation as benchmarks for testing hypotheses
  • Induction: reasoning to establish general rules or conclusions drawn from facts or examples
  • Repetition
  • Critical analysis
  • Verification and testing: critical exposure to scrutiny, peer review and assessment

If you farm or ranch, you reap the benefits of science every day. If you farm or ranch, part of your role is being a scientist yourself.

Five years ago, the inaugural “March for Science” was held in our nation’s capital and more than six hundred other cities around the globe. The original organizers planned the march as a non-partisan movement to celebrate science and all that it contributes to the lives of every person on the planet.

Unfortunately, keeping political partisanship out of any event is impossible, so some used it as an opportunity to throw shade on the parties they opposed. And as is the case with any cause, people unify and rally or march, then go home after with great plans to commit time and effort in support of the cause – until the excitement wears off and life gets busy.

Stop for a minute and consider all the agricultural technologies that are valuable to farmers who use them and to the food security of a world population. Drought-resistant crop varieties and seed traits to protect against a wide variety of insects and diseases for example. The very crops we grow on our farms today have been bred over the past ten thousand years to become what they are today. Wheat as we know it today is a result of years of selection for mutations and the crossing of various species of wild grass.

Agricultural science improves crop production and reduces potential environmental impacts to benefit farmers and consumers.

I know there are a lot of people in this world filled with disdain for the large agricultural corporations they call “Big Ag.”  Like them or not, it is the billions of dollars they have invested in research and development over time that have given many of us the tools we use on our farms every day to grow the crops that feed the world and provide the income to feed our families.

Technological innovations allow us to place the right inputs in exactly the right amount and the right time in exactly the right place. This saves us time and resources while improving yields.

Science, technology, engineering, and math are critical to innovation. The STEM initiative, started several years ago to promote the much-needed skills to empower students with a solid education in these subjects, has grown in popularity and continues to gain traction. I hope that you are all great supporters of this program in your local schools.

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