Stories by Alan Guebert

Considering taxes, trade and biofuels

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Outside of accuracy, honesty and tight prose, the rules established (way back in May 1993) for these 700-word weekly adventures were few.

Matter doesn’t always matter

Thursday, July 6, 2006

A month ago, Fred Kirschenmann, distinguished fellow for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, preached to the preachers of the Northern Plains Conference of the United Church of Christ in Bismarck.

Dairy self-help program self-delusional

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Three years ago come July 1, 70 percent or so of American dairy farmers began taxing themselves to fund a program the industry dubbed Cooperatives Working Together, or CWT.

U.S. farm groups say ‘no more’ in WTO

Thursday, June 22, 2006

When the Senate confirmed Susan C. Schwab as the Bush Administration’s Trade Representative June 8 – the second trade rep in just 13 months – it did so by voice vote, an uncommon occurrence for the usually-on-the-record body.

Busting the great ag export myth

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Former Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman couldn’t stop for a cup of coffee in farm and ranch country without waxing romantically on how “1 in 4 acres of American farm production is exported.

My summer as a kitchen migrant

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Sometime in the early summer of 1965 I migrated from my mother’s hot kitchen and the family’s enormous garden to our farm’s sweltering hayfields and crowded milking parlor.

The fact and fiction of fast food

Thursday, June 1, 2006

America’s food industry, like the nation’s church leaders, spent much of May wringing its hands over, by all accounts, pieces of poorly written, poorly acted fiction.

Limits to ethanol’s wild success exist

Thursday, May 25, 2006

When biofuel promoters begin to extol the virtues of ethanol, it’s sometimes difficult to determine if their excitement is powered by corn-based fuel or corn-based liquor.

Hacking away at 2007 (Iraqi) farm bill

Thursday, May 18, 2006

On May 8, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns took the Bush administration’s first formal step toward the 2007 farm bill.

Bye to Harvard’s only ag economist

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The news of John Kenneth Galbraith’s April 29 passing brought but a moment’s sadness before it swept me back to the book-lined study of his home where, in mid-June 1986, he availed himself to a lengthy interview so I could prepare a profile of him for Farm Journal’s Top Producer magazine.

Your mother raised such an idiot!

Thursday, May 4, 2006

The e-mailer was hotter than a $3 pistol. “What part of illegal don’t you understand?” the opening salvo of the angry note asked after a column on immigration reform – and the lack thereof – a month ago.

Hmm, how about a tasty catburger?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

While the nation’s farmers leap into spring planting, this office is reluctantly digging through the winter drifts of stories gone undone.

USDA: Defenders of the corrupt

Thursday, April 20, 2006

During Australia’s inquiry of the $215 million in kickbacks paid to the Saddam Hussein regime, documents have been made public that show American-based Australian diplomats working hand-in glove with U.

Ethanol boom continues to advance

Thursday, April 13, 2006

In his opening address to the 11th National Ethanol Conference Feb. 21, Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen declared loudly and proudly that “ethanol has arrived.

Animal ID compelling, not convincing

Thursday, March 30, 2006

When the USDA announced the discovery of the nation’s first mad cow in late December 2003, consumers and ranchers were met by a government search-and-destroy blitz worthy of war.

A knucklehead trade strategy

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Lawyers are fond of noting there are only three courtroom strategies to pursue in any legal case. First, if the facts favor your client, argue the facts.

More food labeling, not less, is needed

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Given the sad state of affairs in today’s affairs of state – record federal budget deficits, record trade deficits, illegal domestic eavesdropping, the sale of key U.

Numbers predict an up-and-down year

Thursday, March 9, 2006

When March arrives like a lamb, the old saying goes, it roars out like a lion. How then will the 2006 growing season finish if current numbers, courtesy of the USDA, show it hobbling out of the gate on weak knees and a bent back? Six months, of course, will tell the tale, but February USDA figures begin it with some opening lines that are grim – Brothers Grimm grim.

Evidence of AWB selling U.S. grain to corrupt nations is too much to ignore

Thursday, March 2, 2006

A month ago this space outlined the ongoing Australian probe of AWB Ltd., that nation’s single-desk wheat exporter, and the nearly $215 million in kickbacks and bribes it paid to Iraqi officials to keep Aussie wheat flowing into Iraq between 1999 and the U.

Looking for answers to old problems

Thursday, February 23, 2006

On any other day, the Jan. 23 confirmation that another BSE-carrying cow had been discovered in Canada would have rocked that nation and its Canadian beef-importing neighbor to the south.

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About Alan

Alan Guebert was raised on an 800-acre, 100-cow southern Illinois dairy farm. After graduation from the University of Illinois in 1980, he served as a writer and editor at Professional Farmers of America, Successful Farming magazine and Farm Journal magazine. His syndicated agricultural column, The Farm and Food File, began in June, 1993, and now appears weekly in more than 70 publications throughout the U.S. and Canada. He and spouse Catherine, a social worker, have two adult children. farmandfoodfile.com