Revisiting the Top 10 Stories of 2015

Always appreciate time for a good sunset
My most popular Instagram photo in 2015. Always take time to enjoy a good sunset!

2015 has definitely been a year of swift change and action in the world of food and agriculture. When looking back one of the most notable changes would have to be the trend of food companies and restaurant chains adjusting their food sourcing requirements according to demands from certain groups of consumers. This includes sourcing eggs from cage free hens, antibiotic-free and hormone-free claims, chemical-free processed foods and many welfare requirements placed on livestock farmers. The marketing terms of natural and organic have continued to lose their meaning and become more vague.

Through all this, if there is one wish for 2016, I’d ask the agriculture community to become better advocates for their neighbors. We must do three things – 1) Create more content that can be found when people ask questions about farming practices on Google; 2) encourage our peers to stop calling our customers stupid; 3) do more outreach to food companies so they know where food producers stand on important hot topics.

What was 2015 for me? It was big for Agriculture Proud! My Facebook and Twitter feeds continued to grow with better conversations. I have found a love for running (more on that later) and my site passed the 1,000,000 views mark in December!

So what were the Top 10 stories in 2015 on Agriculture Proud?

10. Why Are Cattle Branded?

9. Ask A Farmer: What is a cattle feedlot?

8. Agriculture – Top 20 Most Useless Degrees?

7. Cattle Breeds 101: Brahman

6. Characteristics of a Farmer – The Farmer’s Creed

5. Subway Updates Statement on Antibiotic Use in Livestock

4. Why do farmers and ranchers castrate their cattle?

3. Ask A Farmer: Why do farmers leave dying corn in fields?

2. Ask A Farmer: Does feeding corn harm cattle?

My most popular post of 2015 focused on breaking news as Subway updated their policies on sourcing animals from farms that use antibiotics. Not only did they make an announcement that many in agriculture believed was against the best welfare interest of animals, when farmers and ranchers went to the Subway Facebook page to share their perspectives, Subway began deleting comments from those who disagreed with their announcement. That’s no way to manage public social media. Things eventually went into crisis mode for the company. Read more in my most frequently visited post of 2015 and all time – Subway Removing Antibiotics… And Facebook Comments.

A few posts deserve honorable mention. These have been around a few years and continue to show up regularly in search engine results.

While I wrote many great posts in 2015, you may notice most of those stories listed above are articles written prior to this year. In many cases, these topics receive greater traffic today than when they were originally posted. This lets me know that content I’ve been writing over the past 6 years continues to show up in search engine results when people are searching for answers on Google.

What can we expect in 2016? I’ll be revisiting several of the topics listed above to share updated information and resources. More frequently asked questions will be addressed (submit yours through my Contact form), including more information on cattle marketing. You can expect to hear more about my running adventures as I train for my first two marathons. Plus, I’ll be sharing more features of farmers and ranchers advocating from the fields and pastures.

I hope that 2015 has been a great year for you and wish you all the best in 2016!

What were your favorite stories from the year? Share you thoughts in the comments section below!


  1. My favorite story this year had to be Subway removing antibiotics- and Facebook comments. In a way, I’m happy Subway pulled that publicity stunt because it allowed ag-vocates to have a little fire under their feet as they worked to speak out for their own farms and ranches on social media. Sometimes I think a little fuel can go a long way! We should strive to be that passionate all the time, not just when we’re under attack!

  2. I have twice asked you to comment on the following description of a feedlot in Michael Pollan’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma but have yet to see a response. Is this an omission or is your silence all I need to know?

    “You’ll be speeding down one of Finney County’s ramrod roads when the empty, dun-colored January prairie suddenly turns black and geometric, an urban grid of steel-fenced rectangles as far as the eye can see-which in Kansas is really far. I say “suddenly” but in fact the swiftly rising odor –an aroma whose Proustian echoes are decidedly more bus station men’s room than cows in the country-has been heralding the feed lot’s approach for more than a mile. And then it’s upon you: Poky Feeders, population thirty- seven thousand. A sloping subdivision of cattle pens stretches to the horizon, each one home to a hundred or so animals standing dully or lying around in a grayish mud that, it eventually dawns on you isn’t mud at all.”

    1. Robin, thank you for the comment. I’m not sure where you have asked that question before, but I admit it is a possibility the comment may have been overlooked on my part.

      I’ve read the book and am bothered by Pollan’s observations of the feedlots and people involved. They’re good people doing the best for the cattle in their care. I have not directly addressed the book, because I’m honestly not sure where to start. Yes, the feedlot is a different location than cattle on pasture, and yes, there will be mud and smells, especially if one visits after a rain or snow event.

      However, I have, on several occasions, described my experience and perspective about the conditions cattle are in during their time in the feedlots. Take a moment to sift through a few of these stories. I believe your question is addressed during the course of the series.

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