Stories by Alan Guebert

Farm and Food File: Again with the crop insurance?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Suggestions on how to change the 2012 farm bill are popping up faster than jack-o’-lanterns. Like this gap-toothed hallmark of Halloween, however, most are hollow, scary and shed little light.

Farm and Food File: Leader-sheep ‘reform’ rings hollow

Thursday, October 20, 2011

When Chairman Frank Lucas gaveled the full House Ag Committee to order Oct. 12, aggies who depend on commodity futures markets to price their crops, livestock and dreams might have thought the hearing would center on what its title suggested: “To Review Legislative Proposals Amending Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.” The hearing would do no such thing.

Let’s talk ‘socialism for capitalists’

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Today’s politics are dominated by the inside-out logic that doing nothing is better than doing anything. We even pay dozens in Congress at least $174,000 per year to ensure it

Siren song of home is hard to resist

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The usual six-mile drive home from Sunday church took a pleasant turn some weeks ago. As I headed back to the farmette for more coffee and more newspapers, my mind went a different way and, without one turn of any wheel, I was on my way to the southern Illinois dairy farm of my youth. […]

A vital part of history: the Homestead Act

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Already deeply engaged in a bloody war, a young, untested president– whose thin resume noted but a handful of undistinguished terms in the Illinois General Assembly and a brief stint in Congress — did not hesitate when Congress delivered legislation that might spark a new beginning for a tiring nation. When Abraham Lincoln signed the […]

I don’t get it: What am I missing?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

On a near-perfect harvest day in yellowing central Illinois, a gentle breeze rattles the drying maple leaves near my back door. The whine of a distant combine adds a background vocal and white clouds in a crayon blue sky hang over all. Thirty feet from my bare feet, Maggie the Dog dozes in the shade […]

Farm and Food File: Economic woes piling up

Thursday, September 15, 2011

So corn is rockin’ north of $7, beans are toyin’ with $14, cattle look to be headed to who-knows-where and hogs, well, bacon is sellin’ for what steak used to.

Once again, here come the trolls

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A day does not pass without some Big Ag chieftain or Capitol Hill yakker parting their perpetually pursed lips to unleash total nonsense on you, me and the body politic. To wit the following quote, an answer given by a member of the U.S. Senate to an Aug. 25 question on who will be dominate […]

Wrong cure, wrong problem

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The official name for the group of 12 U.S. House and Senate members charged with finding “at least” $1.5 trillion in cuts to the federal deficit by Thanksgiving is the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction. Super Unofficially, the group usually is called the Super Committee. Not Super Group, Super Committee. A Super Group would be, […]

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 […]

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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