PREBLE COUNTY — Modern farming has many complicated aspects, with GMOs, food safety, water quality, genetics—and imparting these topics to the public can be a challenge.
The agriculture industry needs to communicate and open up to consumers, according to farmer Keith Kemp of West Manchester, and what better way than the 2018 Tournament of Roses Parade?
“It’s so neat that agriculture is coming to the forefront,” said Kemp, whose Ohio-grown corn and soybean seed was displayed on the 2018 “Ag PhD Salute to Farmers” float in the parade. Built to have 100 farmers onboard, the float represented the celebration of America’s 2018 New Year Jan. 1 in Pasadena, California.
The parade float featured seed from all 50 states, according to its sponsors, brothers Darren and Brian Hefty of Ag PhD Television and Radio. This was to “show that modern agriculture is still about great people,” according to Ag PhD. Kemp provided the seed representing Ohio.
Kemp has worked with the brothers of Ag PhD before, including interviewing on their shows. Kemp says that it’s an honor to have Ohio grain in the Rose Parade, adding that modern technology is fascinating and moving so quickly. Many farmers today utilize new technology, such as GPS mapping and autonomy.
Kemp serves as National Director of United Soybean Board and operates approximately 1,800 acres of farmland, producing corn, soybeans and wheat. This month he traveled to California to see where salmon is currently being cage-raised in the Pacific ocean. Kemp works with organizations to develop a new type of soybean feed that salmon can digest more easily.
What modern farmers are doing today can be confusing to consumers, says Kemp, and communicating is really important in the agriculture industry.
For more information on the Ag PhD Salute to Farmers float, visit http://www.agphd.com/rose-parade-2018. For information on Monday’s Tournament of Roses Parade, visit https://www.tournamentofroses.com/.