Independent Expert

Mary Mertz

Farmer

Growing up in Chicago, Mary knew very little about agriculture and food production. As a consumer in an urban setting, there weren't many opportunities granted for dialoging with farmers. That is until she met and married one in 1986. Moving from skyscrapers to silos wasn't an easy transition. But now, after raising a family and living on a grain and livestock farm for 27 years, her roots are solidly transplanted in Kansas. The fifth-generation farm consists of corn and soybean acreage, as well as a Simmental cattle operation. Mary has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Ethics. Her husband, Bob, and she have two adult children and host a "farm to fork" event called Feast of the Fields twice a year.

From this Expert

Posted On: Tuesday, 7/08/2014 5:02 pm
A: When my children were little, I had to watch them suffer through chicken pox. It was very difficult. When I was a child, my parents almost lost me to a severe case of the measles. I share this because advancements in medicine have reduced health issues tremendously. If vaccinated, kids don’t need to experience these diseases anymore. The same goes for biotechnology and the remarkable advancements it has introduced to farming through the generations. Using pesticides and herbicides has always... Continue Reading
Posted On: Wednesday, 3/12/2014 1:38 pm
A: Your question could be answered in various ways depending upon how one interprets it.  We use GM seeds for growing both corn and soybeans here on our farm.  The benefits of biotech seeds include the reality that we now are using less pesticides and other chemicals on our crops, as well as the fact that it allows us to use less tillage (break-up) of the soil. This means less land erosion, a very good plus for the environment. In my opinion, the biggest problem with the seeds is... Continue Reading
Posted On: Tuesday, 8/06/2013 12:05 am
A: This is a question that has been seriously scrutinized and debated for a few years now. In 2011, the USDA formed an Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture to discuss issues of this type. The final report submitted by the committee, in November 2012, did not reach a definitive consensus on how compensation should be handled, if at all. However, it did make some recommendations in terms of stewardship practices and examining the use of crop insurance as a means to... Continue Reading
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