Sustainable Since 1921 - Food Dialogues

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Sustainable Since 1921

Sustainable Since 1921

Janna Stubbs owns a cow-calf farm in Alpine, Texas, with her husband whose family has been in agriculture for more than 100 years. Janna, a U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) Board Member, believes by creating a sustainable food supply, each segment of the food chain is doing its part to help continue a “sustainable life cycle”. Living in the desert means the Stubbs Ranch has to focus on conserving their water supply in order to remain sustainable.

This Earth Day learn more about how Janna and her family are continuously focused on being efficient with all elements of production, especially water. Sometimes it’s tough work to be sustainable, but it’s important to everyone in agriculture and the consumers that eat our food.

What does it mean to be sustainable?
JS: Sustainable wears many different hats with many different faces depending on who is asked. For me, sustainable means being responsibly supportive in any livelihood. By being sustainable we’re completing the circle of life from beginning to end, reusing and recycling.

Why is water important to you?
JS: We ranch in the Chihuahuan Desert, in far West Texas, and our average rainfall is approximately 15 inches, so we must be very careful with our water supply. Water is the essence of life, without water nothing lives and when your average rainfall is very low you must catch every drop possible. Our underground water supply is abundant, yet if we are not conservative, responsible and frugal with all elements of production, especially water, it’s difficult to sustain our ranch.

How do farmers and ranchers care for the environment?
JS: Farmers and ranchers are the original conservationists of Mother Earth. We all know there will not be more land made; what we have on Earth is what we must learn to live with in the most practical way.

Why should consumers care about agriculture being sustainable?
JS: An estimated 2 percent is feeding the world, which means 98 percent is relying on agriculture. For agriculture to continue to feed the world, the industry must be sustainable, given the fact no more land will ever be made. Learning to make better use of what we all have is the key to being sustainable in agriculture.

Why are you thankful for consumers?
JS: As farmers we  need consumers and vice versa. As a producer, I am also a consumer and a thankful consumer of responsible practices. Each consumer would like to think farmers and ranchers are being as responsible or sustainable as possible, which I truly believe we all are. By creating a sustainable food supply, each segment of the food chain is doing its part to help continue a “sustainable life cycle”.