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.

Farm labor options dwindling for US growers 6
Farmers, ranchers and others who need manual labor have limited options for a legal workforce, says a recruiter for the H2A and H2B guest worker programs. Less labor could mean more fruit and vegetable production moving offshore.
Reversing the American farm exodus
In 1945 the average age of the United States farmer was 39 years old. By 1974 that average had risen to 45 years. In 2007, our average farmer was 58, according to USDA figures. The trend continues as young people leave the farm to attend college and then pursue other careers—often looking for jobs with less risk, less stress and more financial reward.
Guest worker program needed to provide agriculture labor
The birth rate in Mexico is declining. And more workers are staying home, partly because of improved job prospects in some areas but also because of border violence and immigration crackdowns.
Georgia the 'poster child' for immigration reform mistakes 1
The Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011, signed into law last May by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, cost the state more than $340 million and more than 3,000 jobs, despite assurances from Gov. Deal that eliminating illegal labor would create 11,000 new jobs.
US and Mexico: Despite friction, brothers in trade
But the bottom line is this: Mexico and the United States have a long and profitable trading relationship. “Mexico is one of our largest trading partners,” said Pete Olsen, agriculture attaché with the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service in Mexico City.
Farm bill 'dramatically alters commodity titles'
U.S. Representative Frank Lucas, R-Okla., Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, says he will “do everything I can” to get a farm bill done by late September. “But the magnitude of changes,” he says, “dramatically alters commodity titles.”
Rice industry takes big ARC hit
Oilseed crop farmers would be about the only producers who actually benefit from the Senate Agriculture Committee’s proposed farm bill, the Agriculture Risk Coverage program, according to a south Texas rice farmer.
Protection holes in farm bill proposal
If markets tank, farmers have no deep-loss protection in the Senate’s farm bill proposal, say Joe Outlaw, professor and Extension economist, and James Richardson, regents professor.
Unified front crucial for agriculture industry
Mark Lange, president and CEO, National Cotton Council, understands and appreciates the importance of agricultural commodity organizations presenting a unified front to Congress in order to get the best farm program possible.
New farm bill a shaky prospect
Anyone willing to bet on whether a new farm bill will be enacted by the end of September or the current one extended for another year “could lose money either way,” says Representative Mike Conaway, R-Texas.
La Nina predictions miss the mark
Predictions of continued widespread drought into this summer appear to have missed the mark.
Herbicide resistant ryegrass troubling for wheat growers 1
Glyphosate resistant pigweed currently may be attracting more attention, but to an increasing number of wheat growers, herbicide resistant ryegrass poses an equally disturbing dilemma.
Hairiness may be culprit as cotton leaf grade rises
Cotton leaf grade issues have created significant economic loss to growers but has also created problems for ginners who have to take extra steps to clean cotton with higher leaf grades.
Cotton quality a top priority
Back in the day, and that would be a day not all that long ago, cotton quality was a good thing to have, but not as high a priority as it has become recently.
Food safety battle rages over funding
If Congress doesn’t provide additional funding to the FDA, the Food Safety Modernization Act will not be effective in preventing increased problems in the years ahead if proposed user fees are rejected because of opposition by the food industry.
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