WORLAND — Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon visited Worland Saturday speaking at the Wyoming Sugar annual community barbecue during the Harvest Festival on the importance of agriculture.
He said ag is one of the top three industries in the state, but added that agriculture is “the real backbone of Wyoming, always has been.”
He said one of the reasons he says that is because his wife, first lady Jennie Gordon, was in the Leadership, Education and Development program last year and everywhere she went she came back and said “do you realize all the things ag is doing around this state.”
Gordon added, “In agriculture we feed the nation. We’re No. 5 in barley production in the country right now; we have some of the best barley for brewing.”
He said there is about $1 billion in annual cash receipts for livestock and about $500 million in crops.
Wyoming is 10th in production of beans, ninth in sugar beets, fourth in sheep and second highest in lamb crop, 18th in honey, 28th in hogs, 27th in oats, 34th in grain corn and 32nd in winter wheat.
He said agriculture also teaches a strong work ethic and instills in young people the benefits of hard work.
“That’s what you do, that’s what the success story of this factory is,” Gordon said. “You came together as a community and said, ‘let’s make sure we have Wyoming Sugar and let’s make sure we do it right. Let’s have our growers be a part of this coop.’ You’ve made a real success story.”
He added that when they think about where they are going in this state, a large part of it will be doing a better job in promoting agriculture.
“And, I don’t have to tell you we have some big challenges. In my industry, which is the beef industry, suddenly we have these things called Impossible Burgers, which are grown in a petri dish. What I don’t understand about Impossible Foods is how can people be upset about GMO (genetically modified organism) crops and at the same time want a test-tube burger. It doesn’t make sense to me.”
According to the Impossible Foods website, the meat is genetically engineered starting with heme-containing protein from the roots of soy plants.
“So I think it is up to this industry and to us in Wyoming to make sure people understand where their food comes from, make sure they understand the kind of care and effort, and genuine love we have for our land, for our country and for the products we produce, and for our families.”
By Karla Pomeroy
Northern Wyoming News Via Wyoming News Exchange