Ron Smith

Southwest Farm Press

Ron Smith has spent more than 30 years covering Sunbelt agriculture. Ron began his career in agricultural journalism as an Experiment Station and Extension editor at Clemson University, where he earned a Masters Degree in English in 1975. He served as associate editor for Southeast Farm Press from 1978 through 1989. In 1990, Smith helped launch Southern Turf Management Magazine and served as editor. He also helped launch two other regional Turf and Landscape publications and launched and edited Florida Grove and Vegetable Management for the Farm Press Group. Within two years of launch, the turf magazines were well-respected, award-winning publications. Ron has received numerous awards for writing and photography in both agriculture and landscape journalism. He is past president of The Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association and was chosen as the first media representative to the University of Georgia College of Agriculture Advisory Board. He was named Communicator of the Year for the Metropolitan Atlanta Agricultural Communicators Association. Smith also worked in public relations, specializing in media relations for agricultural companies. Ron lives with his wife Pat in Denton, Texas. They have two grown children, Stacey and Nick, and two grandsons, Aaron and Hunter.

OSHA regs don't apply to majority of grain bin accidents
The fatality rate of children involved in grain engulfment is staggering, 70 percent. OSHA regulations don't apply to the majority of grain bin accidents.
Farming history: 98 years young, Elmo Snelling carries on 2
Texan Elmo Snelling, 98 years young, is a piece of living farm history.
Superweeds a growing nightmare for agriculture
Farmers are facing a nightmare of herbicide resistant weeds and grasses that threaten to upset management practices and affect enterprise choices, chemical selection and tillage systems.
Cotton industry looks up, despite double whammy
Despite recession and price drops, the apparel market holds hope for cotton.
Fertilizer prices still demand efficiency
Fertilizer prices have decreased some and stabilized from recent historic peaks, but fertilizer is still expensive. It makes sense for farmers to be as prudent as possible with this essential resource.
Farm policy crucial for the bad times
Among all the unanswered questions about the farm bill, one thing is certain: Farmers will get a direct payment on eligible crops.
Variable rate agriculture improves efficiency
“Variable rate agriculture gets back tobasics. It is more specific,” says Billie Scott, Wylie Sprayers Inc., equipment specialist. Variable rate agriculture saves money. “Farmers apply more where they need and less where they don’t.”
Skin cancer threat always looms for farmers
Farmers and ranchers are in an at-risk occupation, spending a lot of time in the sun often without adequate protection: Skin cancer is a significant concern.
Wife, family, land are key values for Texas cotton farmer
“Water is the key,” John Wilde, Miles, Texas, says. And he’s doing all he knows to make every drop count. Subsurface drip irrigation helps, as do reduced tillage and rotation; and subsoiling between the drip tape helps capture moisture. He uses furrow diking to reduce runoff, and also has CRP land where he installed wildlife vegetation strips. To reduce erosion, he added waterways and diversion terraces and seeded with native grasses.
Cuba still a waiting game for US agriculture 1
U.S. producers have been able to take advantage of some of that demand with the passage of a 2000 law allowing limited trade with Cuba, in spite of a trade, travel and economic embargo that has been in place since 1962. Cuba is a huge potential market for U.S. farmers and ranchers. Cuba relies on imports for 75 percent of its food.
Will the next farm bill be the last?
As Congress decides whether to move on a new farm bill or to continue to punt the issue into next year, some wonder if this could be the last farm bill available to U.S. producers.
Texas honey bees at risk to stress 2
Texas, like other states and countries across the world, is concerned about healthy colonies of bees for honey production, pollination and sales of queen bees to other beekeepers.
Fiscal cliff more like a dangerous slope
Economic forecasters generally assume the fiscal cliff will be avoided without recession, but if all the tax increases and spending cuts scheduled occur, GDP could drop by 4.5 percent.
EPA and agriculture engage in civil exchange 3
Terry Detrick, president of the American Farmers and Ranchers Insurance Agency, admitted that, “the EPA is our most feared agency. We are scared of what might come down the pike. We hate regulations.” Detrick said agriculture and the EPA do have areas where cooperation has proven beneficial to both sides.
Exciting time for agriculture: opportunity vs. challenge 4
Exciting times for agriculture: Farmers and ranchers face significant opportunities but equally daunting challenges as they seek ways to double food production by 2050. Success depends on improving productivity and enhancing international trade, according to a respected agricultural economist who sees a bright future for U.S. agriculture.
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