Science and Technology Helps Farmers Grow Healthier Food

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Grand Island, Neb. - Tuesday at the Nebraska School Nutrition Association meeting in Grand Island, farmers said science changes they way they work.

"Our universities have served us to better understand how the pig puts fat on and through genetics and breeding how to get that pig to not put so much fat on also in how we feed the pig and not feeding to make pigs fat, we're feeding to make pigs lean and to grow lean meat," said Elwyn Fitzke a speaker and farmer for the National Pork Board.

Fitzke says decades ago, pigs used to have more than two inches of fat. Now they have less than half an inch. Less fat on pigs means less fat in our diets. But the science doesn't just impact pigs. It changes the way other livestock and crops are grown.

"Cropping practices, we've done a lot in the way of crop production, crop breeding methods. 50 years ago, I was raising corn that probably made 120 bushel an acre and now we're raising corn that's producing 240 bushel acre, so we're a lot more productive all the way around in agriculture," said Fitzke.

Farmers who have livestock like Kristen Klein in Cairo say they're thankful for the research.

"I don't have the facilities to do it all here on my own. And so if we have universities that can do it for us, it definitely helps us out," said Kristin Klein a livestock farmer.

Farmers say they're always looking to science and research for how to improve their methods.