"The chemicals would blow me away. Every year there's a different set of chemicals out… And, of course, every year there's a new batch, a new bunch of names. And you want to say, 'Okay, what's this for?' I think it makes a crash course every year. You've just got to read and go to the pesticide meetings. You cannot be a closed book. [I'm] always looking for information…
     "I had to be a certified pesticide applicator. And we went to the co-op meetings that were promoting different pesticides… Atrazine was something that I think they oversold it. And when we went to these pesticide meetings on how to care for chemical accidents and stuff, they would comment, 'Oh don't worry about Atrazine. It's almost harmless.' And where's the residue at now? In the water. In the drinking water. So we probably over-used it…
     "And then they started, 'Okay, maybe we haven't tested this enough. Maybe we better pull this. Maybe we'd better pull that one.'
     "And then you say, 'Hey wait a minute. Some of these did us some good. We don't want them all pulled.'
     "I think they're in pretty good balance right now. I think there's been enough static made from the consumers that they had to clean up their act. And I'm glad because I eat the same thing the consumers do. So, I don't mind if they are upset."

Beulah Gocke – Keeping Up With Chemistry


Other Excerpts from Beulah Gocke’s Interview:

Baby Boomers
Cold War Close to Home
Why Not Leave Farming?
Rural Hicks on TV
Adopting New Technology
Truck Farming
Raising Sheep
Droughts in the 50s
Omaha Stockyards