Learn More About The New ‘Hungry For Truth’ Initiative

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The Midwest is home to a lot of hardworking farmers — men and women who make sure we have healthy, fresh food on our tables.

On Monday, Morgan Kontz joined Kevin on KDLT News Today. She is farmer who grows soybeans, corn and beef cattle alongside her family in Coleman, S.D.

Kontz joined Kevin to talk more about their commitment to growing and raising healthy food on their farm through South Dakota Soybean’s new “Hungry For Truth Initiative.”

“Hungry for Truth” is a new initiative from South Dakota Soybean designed to open discussions about food between South Dakotans and the farmers who grow it. They are putting it all on the table to have open, honest conversations about how our food is raised and its safety.

Because it’s such a hot topic right now, it can seem completely overwhelming. As a producer and a consumer, it’s something Kontz takes very seriously.

Here are some answers to important questions that Kontz was able to answer:

How does using crop protection products affect the land and environment?

When using crop protection products, we are very precise thanks to the technology we have. Whether it is our planters, sprayers or fertilizers, they’re all integrated with technology nowadays. We use automatic shut-offs on all of our equipment, which shuts it off when we get to the end of the field, or variable rate technology that puts crop protection products on in precise amounts, which allows us to not overuse the products.

Do you use plant health products in your garden or yard?

We actually do use the same plant protection products we use on our farm in our yard and in my garden, and they’re something that I find really invaluable. We enjoy our time outside together as a family. We have a swing set that my daughter loves, and we have a garden. Being able to spend time in our yard and garden without having to worry about pests is something we really enjoy.

Why do you farm?

I grew up farming. It’s what I love to do. I love being outside, and I love working with animals. I think I’d farm even if I didn’t make money doing it. It’s just a passion of mine.

Why do you grow soybeans?

Soybeans are a vital crop in my rotation. We grow corn as well, and it’s good for the soil’s health to have a rotational crop with corn.

Tell us about what you do as a farmer throughout the year.

We grow corn, soybeans and alfalfa, and we raise livestock. With livestock, there’s not a lot of downtime, so during the cold months of the year, we’re always trying to make sure our livestock is safe and healthy. During the spring months, we’re spraying for weeds, putting up hay for the livestock so they’ll have feed for the winter. During the fall, we’ll harvest the crop, get it in bins or haul it to town, depending on which crop it is. During the winter months, we’re taking care of livestock, doing maintenance on equipment and getting ready for the next season to start all over again in the spring.

What does a successful year look like to you as a farmer?

I would say that we have a lot of end goals in mind, and you might find it surprising to know that it isn’t just all about profit. There’s so much more that comes with being a farmer and being a part of the agricultural industry. One of our top goals is to provide safe and healthy products. We’re not just working on feeding our family; we’re working on feeding the world.

What are soybeans used for?

What a lot of people don’t realize is that soybeans are actually made up of 80 percent meal and 20 percent oil. Soybean meal is actually used in the livestock industry for feed and the soybean oil is actually used in biodiesel and plastics.

Should I be worried about antibiotics in my food?

I hear this question a lot. We work very closely with our veterinarians in order to treat our animals with the correct antibiotic, if it’s needed. When we do have a calf that has been treated with antibiotics, we keep it out of the herd, and it has to go through a withdrawal time before that animal ever reaches the market.

Should I be worried about hormones in my food?

As a farmer and a mom, I often get asked about hormones in our food and our cattle. We put those hormones in our cattle so that the cows produce leaner cuts of beef, which are healthier for our customers. You might also be interested to know that all food actually contains hormones, not just beef.

To learn more about South Dakota Soybean farmers’ commitment to raising healthy food through the Hungry For Truth Initiative, click here.