Stories by Alan Guebert

We need sustainable tax, farm policies

Thursday, August 25, 2011

If only the New York Times would let the dog days of August pass quietly so all might nap in blissful ignorance until Labor Day. But, no, the Times asked a couple of big dogs to get in the game mid-month and now we can expect a few weeks of loud barking from Big Farm […]

Farm and Food File: Coincidence?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bloggers might do coincidence; journalists don’t. We do irony, maybe even allegory. Sometimes we stray into ennui and pathos. Coincidence, however, features facts that aren’t tied as tightly together as we like. My Oxford Desk Dictionary agrees.

A real worker finds something to do

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The undercooked thought and overbaked talk that endlessly paralyzes Washington would not have gone far on the southern Illinois dairy farm of my youth before someone, boss or hired hand alike, would have condemned the yak and urged all to “get to work.”

Farm and Food File: Will changing the milk system help?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

It’s simply isn’t true that only nine people in America understand the nation’s arcane federal milk price formula. Only four people understand it.

Sliced or diced, baloney is baloney

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rupert Murdoch came before a House of Commons committee investigating the misdeeds of his company’s British newspapers with his heart on his sleeve. He called the day of his testimony, July 19, “the most humble day of my life.” Humbling or not, he left the hearing unbowed. Explanation Murdoch’s explanation of what his firm’s reporters […]

Just the facts when it comes to GIPSA

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hedge ’em, hide ’em or howl at ’em, facts are facts. Trim ’em, trash ’em or trip over ’em, they still are facts. What they aren’t is opinion, a difference often overlooked by radio foamers and politicians, especially if honest facts clash with honest opinion. Debt ceiling For example, on July 12, Speaker of the […]

‘When I hear your name’ … G-u-e-b-e-r-t

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Six months have passed since readers have had their say about me, my work and its effect on their digestive system. Turns out the first two often riles the third as in a mid-April emailer, who signed his missive “All Small Farmers,” noted.

Farm and Food File: Partisan politics hurts legislation

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The mid-June Congressional action on ag programs seems to confirm why Washington D.C.’s streets feature roundabout upon roundabout: moving left or right — a big deal on Capitol Hill now — usually lands you back where you started.

Horses first, carts second

Thursday, June 23, 2011

You and I know that if we put the horse before the cart the chances of going anywhere are a million times better than if we put the cart first.

When it comes to food safety, we may be a penny foolish and food stupid

Thursday, June 16, 2011

With an E. coli outbreak in Germany having sickened over 2,500, afflicted 650 or so with acute kidney failure and, as of June 8, killed 25, now might be a good time for the blinkered show horses on the House Appropriation Committee to reconsider their deep cuts to the nation’s food safety budget. Sure, budget-busting […]

The end is near (sigh) again

Thursday, June 9, 2011

In the decade-long, tens-of-billions-of-dollars effort to sell the world on a global free trade deal, several things did not happen. Didn’t come close. First, a global trade deal didn’t happen; in fact, it never came close to happening. Second, contrary to predictions, world trade did not end even though multilateral talks did. Indeed, worldwide merchandise […]

Remember why Tobey Farmer died

Monday, May 30, 2011

On this Memorial Day, remember Abraham Lincoln’s challenge: “It is for us the living to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus so nobly advanced.”

Let’s feed ourselves vegetables, too

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Squeeze almost any official of almost any agbiz or farm group and the words “Feed the world” will cross their lips. The phrase is this century’s “Manifest Destiny,” a near-imperative, a cornerstone of our export-directed ag policy. But this ambition, according to the number-crunching crew in Daryll Ray’s ag shop at the University of Tennessee, […]

Farm and Food File: One + one is still two (except in D.C.)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Politicians are so good at the muddled math of their budget game that they can turn the equation upside down and make it work in reverse: $1 of budget savings today can be legislated into $2 of tax cuts tomorrow.

Farm and Food File: Gee, what a coincidence…

Thursday, May 5, 2011

In a Jan. 27 conference call with Wall Street analysts, the president and CEO of Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, the world’s leading supplier of potash, couldn’t offer “an exact number” where potash prices might nick demand.

‘… to operate as needed’ is not what’s needed for many farmers

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Farm groups, commodity organizations and most ag checkoffs have spent 25 years and billions dollars refining and repeating their modern message: American agriculture is a business and farmers and ranchers are business people. In the process, cowboys became beef producers and hog farmers became pork producers and a half-million or more of each became no […]

My budget plan: Annex Canada

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sure, Rep. Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, has a 10-year plan to take this country back from the poor, the uninsured, the elderly, the hungry and all the unemployed that threaten to make America a warmer Iceland. But, I ask, does Ryan’s plan go far enough in reining in this earmarked, […]

Finally seeing the reverence of land

Thursday, April 14, 2011

For 35 years I have returned to Indian Farm, when I can, to replenish what it first gave me as a child.

Cleaning my desk uncovers more dirt

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Forget the past week’s winter weather. The calendar called for spring a couple of weeks ago so, fact is, it’s spring. That means it’s time to collect, then toss, the loose paper, used tea bags and unused facts that found a home in my tiny office over the long winter. All were saved for, well, […]

To NCBA leaders, silence is golden

Thursday, March 31, 2011

By law and by USDA’s failure “to restore operational integrity” to the checkoff, NCBA remains the single, biggest benefactor of checkoff cash.

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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